Report Finds Record Levels of Bad Bots Among Global Web Traffic

Imperva has announced the release of its 2024 Imperva Bad Bot Report, a global analysis of automated bot traffic across the internet.
The report found that nearly half of all global internet traffic came from bots in 2023 – the highest level Imperva has reported since it began monitoring automated traffic in 2013. For the fifth consecutive year, the proportion of global web traffic associated with bad bots rose, reaching 32% in 2023, up from 30.2% in 2022, while traffic from human users decreased to 50.4%.
Australia remained in the top three countries targeted by bad bots, representing 8.4% of all bot attacks globally. It ranked third behind the USA and the Netherlands. Bots (good and bad) now make up 36.4% of the country’s total internet traffic, underscoring that businesses across the nation still face a threat from malicious and automated traffic. Australia’s bad bot traffic grew to 30.2% in 2023, an increase of 23.2% year-on-year.
“With attackers increasingly exploiting API vulnerabilities and lapses in business logic guardrails, a proactive stance is essential to prevent data breaches, account takeovers, and large-scale data theft, said Imperva Director of Technology, Reinhart Hansen. “From simple web scraping to malicious account takeover, spam, and denial of service, bots negatively impact an organisation’s bottom line by degrading online services and forcing more investment in infrastructure and customer support. Organisations in Australia must proactively confront the menace of bad bots as attackers sharpen their focus on API-related abuses that can lead to compromised accounts and data exfiltration.”
Key trends identified in the 2024 Imperva Bad Bot Report include: 
  • Global average of bad bot traffic grew to 32%;
  • Growing use of generative AI is connected to the rise in simple bots;
  • The gaming industry continues to experience the highest levels of bad bot traffic;
  • Account takeover remains a persistent business risk;.
  • APIs are a popular vector for attack; and
  • Bad bot traffic originating from residential ISPs grew to 25.8%.
“Organisations face substantial financial losses every year due to automated traffic, a concern that cuts across all industries,” notes George Lee, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Imperva. “Automated bots are on track to outnumber human-generated internet traffic, and with the proliferation of AI-powered tools, their presence is becoming increasingly pervasive. It’s imperative for enterprises to prioritise investment in bot management and API security solutions to effectively combat the threat posed by malicious automated traffic.”
You can read the full report here.