‘Bad Bots’ Account For More Than 20% Of E-Commerce Traffic

Malicious bots don’t just target social media sites —they can affect e-Commerce retailers, and their activity is on the rise, according to the 2018 Bad Bot Report from Distil Networks. Bad bots’ share of all web site traffic rose 9.5% in 2017, to 21.8%.

Bad bots, which accounted for 21.45% of e-Commerce traffic during the year, can attack retailers in multiple ways, including:

  • Price scraping: checking prices to help competitors beat them;
  • Account takeovers: testing stolen login credentials;
  • Gift card balance checking: stealing money from gift card accounts with a balance; and
  • Credit card fraud: testing credit card numbers to determine missing data such as CVVs.

Sophisticated bots, which can mimic human behavior to avoid detection, made up 22.9% of bad bot traffic to e-Commerce sites. Another 50.92% of bots were of moderate sophistication, which are somewhat less complex.


Bots accounted for 21.74% of traffic at large sites, which are defined as the top 10,000 most popular sites on the Alexa index. However, the share of bad bot traffic to large sites fell slightly from 2016, while it rose to 36.97% at medium sites (Alexa 10,001 to 50,000), 20.75% at small sites (Alexa 50,001 to (150,000) and 12.98% at tiny sites (Alexa 150,001+).

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