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Bots dominate the Internet. Nearly 52 percent of all online activity in 2016 was generated by bot activity according to the Imperva Incapsula Bot Traffic Report. Many of the bots on the internet are like the ones from Google, Microsoft Bing, and Facebook that scour the web collecting information that can be used for search or price comparisons. (The Impervia report is summarized as an infographic here.)
But not all bots out there are good ones. Some bots are deployed to scrape and steal content or to scan systems for vulnerabilities or to devise ways that sites can be attacked. Usually about 30 percent of all traffic on a given web site are attributed to bad bots, but the percentage of bot visits made to low-traffic web sites can be even higher.
A report from Distil Networks found that “bad bots are used by competitors, hackers and fraudsters and are the key culprits behind web scraping, brute force attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, man-in-the-middle attacks, digital ad fraud, and downtime.”