Digital Factoid: It’s Scary Out There

An estimated 60% of all Internet traffic is bot-driven, and 31% of that activity is being done with malicious intent, reports Incapsula Inc., which monitors website traffic.

Half of the bot traffic is benign, representing search engine crawlers, for example.

And the good news is that Google last year apparently made inroads into curbing automatic link spamming, which declined by 75% in 2013, thanks to some curbs they put in place to prevent spammers from turning an unsuspecting website into a “link farm” that could result in a search-engine blacklisting.

However, the bad news is that there’s no slowdown of the malicious bots doing what they do:

• Data scraping (stealing and duplicating content)
• Stealing email addresses for spam purposes
• Reverse engineer pricing and business models
• Stealing data such as credit card info (e.g., Target; Neiman-Marcus; Michael’s)
• Hijacking websites and servers
• Posting malware/phishing links that can harm visitors’ computers
• Posting irrelevant content that annoys legitimate visitors
• Defacing websites or delete content

Top-tier hackers that implement Layer 7 DDos attacks can result in service degradation and website downtime.

Incapsula observed 1.45 billion global site visits over a 90-day period. The data was collected from 20,000 sites in Incapsula’s network.

It’s a tough world out there, and getting tougher.