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Fraudulent Bot Traffic Surpasses Human Traffic In U.S., Study Says

More than 50 percent of Web activity in U.S. is suspected to be fraudulent, Solve Media report says

There was more bot-driven, fraudulent activity on the Web in the U.S. last quarter than there was human traffic, according to a report posted last week.

According to Solve Media's Q3 bot report, fraudulent activity accounted for 51 percent of U.S. Web traffic in the third quarter -- the first time it has surpassed everyday traffic generated by humans.

The problem is even bigger in other regions of the globe, according to Solve Media. Estonia (83 percent), Singapore (79 percent), and China (77 percent) had the highest levels of fraudulent Web activity overall, according to the study. Suspicious mobile activity in the United States also increased, up from 22 percent in Q2 to 27 percent.

Solve Media, which monitors bot traffic as part of its security and digital advertising services, said the growth of fraudulent traffic may change the way online advertisers and commercial organizations approach the Web.

"Today's data is a wakeup call for unprotected U.S. publishers and advertisers alike -- as an industry, we can no longer deny that bot traffic is eating away at the overall quality and effectiveness of our collective saleable audience," says Chris Wysopal, CTO at Veracode and member of Solve Media's Security Council.

"Think of it this way -- a premium could be charged by publishers who commit to ensuring human verification of audiences," Wysopal says. "That level of security and guaranteed performance is where publishers should focus first as they attempt to create and sell new advertising products to brands."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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