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Bots Now Outnumber Humans on the Web


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Automated code or bots account for 56 percent of all website visits.

Credit: Getty Images

Automated code or bots currently account for 56 percent of all of website visits, and a recent Incapsula analysis of 20,000 websites found bot traffic can run as high as 80 percent.

Increasingly, some of these online bots are used maliciously to knock websites offline, flood comment sections with spam, or scrape sites and reuse their content without authorization. About 20 percent of the Internet's traffic originates from these bots, up 10 percent from last year, according to Incapsula CEO Marc Gaffan.

"Essentially, there's been this evolution of bots, where we've seen it become easier and more prevalent over the past couple of years," says Distil Networks CEO Rami Essaid.

Malicious bots often operate on hacked computers, and there has been a growth in their sophistication recently. For example, bots have become better at masquerading as Google, or at running in legitimate browsers on hacked computers. Gaffan also notes the bots have made huge strides in cracking human-detecting Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) puzzles.

One positive note is the total percentage of bot-related Web traffic this year has contracted from last year, when it comprised 60 percent of traffic.

From Wired News
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