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Bad bots can now mimic humans

Bad bots can now mimic humans

Bots are evolving and not in a good way. Bad bots that spread malware or hack into accounts are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. Naturally, as these bots are getting smarter, they are becoming more dangerous. With each new data breach, the bots are learning how to grab sensitive data.

Good bots are software that runs automated tasks or scripts, such as Google Bot search engine crawlers. Bad bots do the same, but their software scrapes data from sites without permission. The really bad bots are generally tied to fraud and theft.

A new report looks at how bad bots mimic human behavior to commit their misdeeds and what you can do to stop them from infesting your work and home computers.

New report shows how bad bots are changing

Distil Networks' 2019 Bad Bot Report, looks at how the really bad bots are mimicking human behavior to commit their misdeeds and what you can do to stop them from infesting your work or home computer.

Bots mimic real human workflows across web applications to behave like real users, the report says, and they're continuously adapting their tactics. Almost 74% of bad bots are in the advanced persistent bots (APBs) category. Besides mimicking behavior, these bots can cycle through random IP addresses, enter through anonymous proxies and change their identities.

Other key finding from the report include:

  • In 2018, bad bots accounted 20% of web traffic. Good bots decreased slightly to make up 17.5 % of traffic.
  • Nearly 50% of bad bots imitate the Chrome browser. Imitators of Safari Mobile, Android and Opera increased from 10% last year to almost 14%.
  • The leading ISP for originating bad bot traffic is Amazon. In 2018, 18% of bad bot traffic originated from Amazon, compared with almost 11% the previous year.
  • About 53% of bad bot traffic originates from the United States. However, Russia and Ukraine together make up nearly half of country-specific IP block requests.
  • The industries hit with the most by bad bots are finance, ticketing, education, IT and security, and marketing and advertising.

Solutions for spotting and stopping bad bots

If your computer has been hacked, it may perform slower, use more data than usual, take forever to load online content or crash frequently. Find out the signs of a hacked computer along with advice on what to do to restore it to working order.

Always use the most updated versions of browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Use this tool to get rid of unwanted ads, viruses and malware, especially if your browser seems to be working slowly.

Look for bloated files and folders on your computer, but read this post first to understand which ones are safe to delete.

Like this post and want more of the same? Stay up to date with the latest hacks, breaches and cyber threats by subscribing to Kim's newsletters.

Your Android phone has pop-ups! Is it infected?

You’re browsing the internet on your Android phone. You’re probably using the Chrome app. Everything seems normal until a pop-up invades your screen. Maybe it says "Congratulations, Amazon.com user" and offers you a chance for a gift. Or maybe it shouts out a dire warning that your phone is infected with viruses and that you should follow its instructions to remove them.

Click to read more on Android popups

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