Non-Human Internet Traffic Up 20 Percent in Past Year - The UpStream

Non-Human Internet Traffic Up 20 Percent in Past Year

posted Sunday Dec 15, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

Non-Human Internet Traffic Up 20 Percent in Past Year

If 95 percent of the Internet is pornography, you'd assume that at least half of the traffic on the 'Net would be humans. Sadly, that is just not the case. A new report from security content delivery network Incapsula has informed us that robots rule the tubes, by a lot.

According to the new report, of all the website traffic across the Internet, 61.5 percent of it is made up by non-human entities. This leaves 38.5 percent of the traffic to the robot's carbon-based counterparts. A similar study was done in March and since that time, the amount of non-human traffic has gone up by 10 percent and is up over 20 percent year-over-year.

Now, Incapsula breaks down all of this "non-human" activity. 31 percent of the traffic is from search engines and "other good bots." This of course leaves 5 percent to scrapers, 4.5 percent to hacking tools - down 10 percent YOY, .5 percent to spammers - down 75% YOY and 20.5 percent to "other impersonators" - up 8 percent YOY. Incapsula described other impersonators as marketing intelligence gathering and things like DDoS and other Internet attacks.

Incapsula also warns that (by no surprise) 31 percent of bots are still malicious and that people need to take precautions when surfing the Internet.

While the relative percentage of malicious bots remains unchanged, there is a noticeable reduction in Spam Bot activity, which decreased from 2% in 2012 to 0.5% in 2013. The most plausible explanation for this steep decrease is Google's anti-spam campaign, which includes the recent Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 updates.

SEO link building was always a major motivation for automated link spamming. With its latest Penguin updates Google managed to increase the perceivable risk for comment spamming SEO techniques, while also driving down their actual effectiveness.

Based on our figures, it looks like Google was able to discourage link spamming practices, causing a 75% decrease in automated link spamming activity.

DDoS attacks were on the rise and Incapsula also warns about users ending up on impersonation search engines, downloading malicious toolbars and other activity you usually yell at your grandparents for doing. New to the list however was the introduction to Bitcoin botnets. These are sites that end up installing programs on your computer than run in the background, causing your electric bill to skyrocket, your PC performance to drop and the creator of the program to profit off of it all. I, for one, do not welcome that type of Internet overlord.


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