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Bad Bot Report 2020: Bad Bots Strike Back

Bad Bot Report 2020: Bad Bots Strike Back

The 7th Annual Bad Bot Report is now available from Imperva. Prepared by data from Imperva’s Threat Research Lab, it provides a comprehensive look at the bad bot landscape and the impact of this malicious traffic across multiple industries.

Bad bot traffic rose to 24.1%, it’s highest proportion ever. Think about that. Nearly a quarter of all internet traffic is detrimental to the business that hosts the website.

bad bots report 2020 traffic

Key Findings from the 2020 Bad Bot Report:

  • Bad bot traffic rises to highest levels ever. In 2019, bad bot traffic comprised 24.1% of all website traffic, rising 18.1% from the year prior. Good bot traffic consisted of 13.1% of traffic—a 25.1% decrease from 2018—while 62.8% of all website traffic came from humans.
  • Financial services industry hit hardest by bad bots. Every industry has a unique bot problem ranging from account takeover attacks and credential stuffing to content and price scraping. The top 5 industries with the most bad bot traffic include financial services (47.7%), education (45.7%), IT and services (45.1%), marketplaces (39.8%), and government (37.5%).
  • Moderate to sophisticated bad bots make up almost three quarters of bad bot traffic. Advanced persistent bots (APBs) continue to plague websites and often avoid detection by cycling through random IP addresses, entering through anonymous proxies, changing their identities, and mimicking human behavior. In 2019, 73.7% of bad bot traffic was APBs.
  • More than half of bad bots claim to be Google Chrome. Continuing to follow browser popularity trends, bad bots impersonated the Chrome browser 55.4% of the time. The use of data centers reduced again in 2019, accounting for 70% of bad bot traffic—down from 73.6% in 2018.
  • For the third year in a row, the most blocked country is Russia. In 2019, 21.1% of country blocks were Russia, followed closely by China at 19%. Despite this, with most bad bot traffic emanating from data centers, the United States remains the “bad bot superpower” with 45.9% of attacks coming from the country.

What are bad bots?

Bad bots interact with applications in the same way a legitimate user would, making them harder to detect and prevent. They enable high-speed abuse, misuse, and attacks on websites, mobile apps, and APIs. They allow bot operators, attackers, unsavory competitors, and fraudsters to perform a wide array of malicious activities. Such activities include web scraping, competitive data mining, personal and financial data harvesting, brute-force login, digital ad fraud, spam, transaction fraud, and more.

Download a copy of the Bad Bot Report 2020