Study claims 61.5 percent of web traffic is generated by bots

Web sites are getting visited more and more by bots rather than humans, at least according to a new study by Incapsula. The company, which offers cloud-based services to web sites, revealed that 61.5 percent of Internet traffic is being generated by bots, adding that that figure has actually increased from 51 percent back in March 2012.

The study results came from monitoring 20,000 sites on Incapsula’s network over a period of 90 days. The numbers show that 31 percent of all web traffic comes from search sites like Google and Bing along with other "good" bots. However, the other 30.5 percent belongs in the 'malicious' bot category, including "scrappers" that seek to steal content and email addresses, hacker bots that try to take over websites or distribute malware, and other bots that launch denial of service attacks and try to reduce a site's available bandwidth.

One interesting change from last year's report is that spam bot activity has been reduced by 75 percent and now only takes up 0.5 percent of all web traffic. Incapsula believes that part of the reason for the reduction is due to Google's efforts to limit automated link spamming, thanks to changes in its search algorithms.

Source: Incapsula | Image via Incapsula

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Do apps which automate web activity count as bots, like email checks and automated news feed updates?

Also, what if most of the sites monitored during this study were of sites that generate little to no traffic? Cause, most personal websites and blogs are never visited by real people, only those associated with the owner or friends tend to ever check in.. but Google will sstill index these sites, usually multiple times daily, or at least once a day, meaning most traffic might end up coming from bots only on networks that aren't used for much else.

There are actually tons of automated malicious attacks these days, though. On my 2000-4000 unique visitor per month website obamasweapon.com, we were seeing like 20+ fake forum/spam bots a month, and I see countless attempts to load files like the login page of the forum when we only have 2 registered users. It's crazy.. seriously, the top viewed file on my site right now is ucp.php with 1892 hits, but viewforum.php has only 198 hits. That means some bot is hitting the hell out of my phpBB user control panel, but none of the active users are bots since I effectively blocked their registration. Even the front page has just 800 hits, all of them probably real people though..

do two servers talking to each other count as "bots"?.. because they aren't "human traffic" and there is a TON of server to server traffic that is needed I know this story is about "sites" but to say this is a "traffic" study is dumb if you don't include all traffic

Study claims than X of internet traffic is generated by spam
Study claims than X of internet traffic is generated by piracy
Study claims than X of internet traffic is generated by porn
Study claims than X of internet traffic is generated by facebook
Study claims than X of internet traffic is generated by youtube

bots?, that's new for me!.

recursive said,
Question is, how many of them are compomised Windows machines?

Not really the question at all. Given Windows has like 95% of the desktop market it's clear that most of them will be Windows machines.

The only thing that works is a web form asking the user to answer the question, like i this:

If there are 5 births a year, how many births in 6 years?
and
Name any NSA whistleblower.

The bots aren't usually manned, therefore cannot answer text based questions. Usually, unless the answer is easily found on Google, but I've had no problem with it.

All capchas no matter how good are practically worthless, and are harder for humans to get than bots..

Maybe also microsoft taking down a few botnets.. and ISPs out here are now shutting off internet connections if they detect spamming coming from your IP address.

koppit said,
Maybe also microsoft taking down a few botnets.. and ISPs out here are now shutting off internet connections if they detect spamming coming from your IP address.

This might be a big reason as to why the spammers have dropped so much. This year alone MS helped to take down at least 2 or 3 large botnets.