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Online Fraud is On the Rise, Are Bad Bots to Blame?

Automation has made a lot of things easier because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up putting them in the hands of AI that has no problem with rote tasks, but it has also benefited malicious actors. These threat actors frequently use bad bots to conduct their cyber attacks, and the truly shocking thing is that well over a quarter of all internet traffic in 2021, or 27.7% to be precise, is comprised of these bad bots, as per the data compiled by Imperva.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this represents a startling increase from 2020, where only 25.6% of all internet traffic was composed of these bots. About 65.6% of these bad bots are called evasive bots, which means they use a veritable bag of tricks to stay hidden with all things having been considered and taken into account.


This includes masking their IP address, using proxies to stay anonymous as well as acting surprisingly human which makes it harder to tell that they are AI. This is leading to a huge increase in online scam, much of which can be traced right back to these kinds of bots. There has been a 148% increase in account takeovers, and just over 64% of those attacks were done by bots. 34.6% of the attacks targeted finance related companies, making them the single most popular target by far.

The travel industry also faced a rough year with 23.2% of attacks targeting them. Also, most developed countries have higher than the global average for bot traffic percentages. Almost 40% of all German internet traffic was made up of bad bots, in Singapore it was 39.1%, and in Canada around 30.2%. The US and UK fared a bit better, with 29.1% and 29.7% respectively, but they still exceeded the average of the rest of the world.

These bots are only going to get more sophisticated, and they might become impossible to detect in a year or two. These attacks will become worse when that happens.


Read next: Consumers Warm to AI Personalization Despite Privacy Concerns

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