Access and Feeds

Bad Bots: Malicious Algorithms that Impersonate Humans

By Dick Weisinger

Bad bots made up one-fifth of all web traffic according to Distil Network’s Bad Bot Report 2019. Bad bots are software that are programmed to visit web sites for the purposes of hijacking, web scraping, brute-force attacks, fraud, theft, spam, and forced downtime.

Forrester estimates that bad bots are costing web site owners billions of dollars. Ad fraud was more than $3.3 billion in 2018.

Tiffany Olson Kleemann, CEO of Distil Networks, said that “bot operators and bot defenders are playing an incessant game of cat and mouse, and techniques used today, such as mimicking mouse movements, are more human-like than ever before. As sophistication strengthens, so too does the breadth of industries impacted by bad bots. While bot activity on industries like airlines and ticketing are well-documented, no organization – large or small, public or private – is immune. When critical online activity, like voter registration, can be compromised as a result of bad bot activity, it no longer becomes a challenge to tackle tomorrow. Now is the time to understand what bots are capable of and now is the time to act.”

From Distil Network’s Bad Bot Report 2019
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