AINTERNET-AFRICA-2 research has revealed that over half of all the traffic on the internet is created by non-human bots, which shape our web experience by influencing the way we learn, trade, work, relax and interact with each other online.

Bots roaming the internet represented 56 per cent of total web traffic, according to web security company Incapsula.

Compared with the previous year, this is actually a decrease, when bots represented 61.5 per cent of total internet traffic.

Most of these bots are ‘good’ bots and they include ‘crawlers’ that index web pages for search engines, social networking platforms, RSS feeds and translation services.

Legitimate interactions between a website and a third party service rely on good bots, one way or another. However, there is also a growing number of ‘bad’ bots, which pose a threat to websites.

Incapsula claims that so-called ‘impersonator’ bots – malevolent intruders engineered to circumvent common security measures – have risen 15 per cent in the last two years.

over 90 per cent of all cyber-attacks that we mitigate are executed by bots and, as we are now seeing with Sony, the worst case scenario really depends on the attacker’s intentions and the magnitude of the target,” said Igal Zeifman, product evangelist and researcher at Incapsula.

The decrease in bot traffic is the result of a steady drop in good bot activity, specifically the bots that are associated with RSS services.  Incapsula suggests that this could be a related to the shutdown of Google’s RSS service, Google Reader, in July 2013.

Source: The Telegraph