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Bots are software applications that can automate tasks, like setting alarms and notifications, booking travel or searching out shopping and weather information. Bots have the potential to bring great time-saving benefits. Somewhat amazing, by one estimate, bots already take up nearly half of all internet traffic. In fact, traffic at small and medium-sized websites are often dominated by bot traffic. But as with many things, bots come in two varieties: good and bad.
Limor Kessem, cyber intelligence expert at IBM Security, said that “the mobile malware marketplace has been bustling with activity in the past few months. Mobile malware is becoming a central part of underground dealings and an important fraud frontier that’s growing in size and sophistication. Mobile malware nowadays is picked up and operated by different ranks of cybercriminals — from professional, organised gangs to the least experienced forum readers who buy malware and rely on technical setup and support services from underground vendors.”
Unfortunately, bad or malicious bots now make up nearly 40 percent of all bots, according to a study by Distil Networks. Rami Essaid, CEO and cofounder of Distil, said that “Bots are the centerpiece of a hacker’s toolkit. Bad guys are buying lists of usernames and passwords and then brute-forcing their way into banking, ecommerce and healthcare, as well as the Postal Service and the IRS. As the appeal of bots for consumers widens, so do the risks. More bots mean more potential access points for bad bots.”