Bot traffic accounted for 61.5 percent of global online traffic in 2013

Surprisingly, an estimated total of 61.5 percent of global online traffic is actually generated by bots and not humans, Incapsula’s new study report suggests. According to the firm’s latest findings, a huge chunk traffic registered on all the websites in 2013 actually came from non-human entities or automated software tools, instead of real humans. This is 21 percent more than the last year’s report, which suggested 51 percent of bot traffic out of the total.

This traffic can actually be malicious and is usually intended for stealing or hacking data and posting spam. However, the research firm believes that a major part of this traffic is contributed by good bots, which are certified agents of legitimate software, such as search engines. These essentially help new online services or SEO oriented services in adding traffic and getting better rate of daily user visits, and are not meant to harm a website. Despite that, 31 percent of the bots are still malicious.

The findings of the study show that there has been a reduction in traditional spam bot activities from last year. Spam bots have now come down from 2 percent in 2012 to only 0.5 percent in 2013, which is likely to happen due to security measures taken by Google. The search firm says that Google has managed to control link-based spamming activities, which has resulted in a 75 percent decrease in automated link spamming activity.

The report also cites that hacking tool-based bot activities like using code to distribute malware, stealing of credit card details and defacing of websites have gone down relatively by 10 percent in 2013. Though, there has been an increase of 8 percent in the activity of unclassified bots by spammers, which use other’s identity to pass through the website’s security measures. These include a DDoS attack which is done to steal a company’s secrets or to crash a website or service by sending heavy traffic.

Incapsula is claiming to have observed 1.45 billion bot visits during a 90 day span and gathered information from 20,000 sites of its clients.