Bots have been swiping graphics cards and consoles from under people’s noses since the pandemic started. Their usage spiked up once again when the next-gen consoles were released. The bots would buy all the stock and then scalpers would sell the stock at double the MSRP on sites like eBay. These scalpers have single-handedly ruined the consumer market and no one knows when it will stop.
A cybersecurity firm called Imperva has taken it upon itself to see just how much has bot activity increased in these trying years. They have been conducting a thorough analysis of the behavior of these bots over the past year. According to them, bot activity has increased by 788 percent.
An almost 8 times increase is just ridiculous. There has been a significantly sharp rise in bot traffic in the final months of 2020, while the firm also reported that bots now account for more than a quarter of all web requests.
Sharp spikes were shown during the holiday season which makes sense as it coincides with major launches like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This spike in activity means that the bots were ready to buy all the stock and that’s exactly what happened. The dataset they compiled only contains statistics for application layer bot activity.
This means that they didn’t consider bots involved in DDoS attacks. Bots targeting high-value items during Christmas were coined to be called ‘Grinch Bots’ by Imperva and I hope this sticks.
According to Edward Roberts, Imperva’s director of strategy and application security, “As we’ve monitored over the past eight years, bad bots continue to ravage the internet, while attack characteristics are becoming more advanced and nuanced over time. Throughout the past year and during a global pandemic, bad bots have thrived by targeting new markets and the impacts are now felt by everyday consumers”.
You can view the complete report by Imperva here. Which shows you the latest trends in their activity and gives an in-depth analysis of deep the rabbit hole actually goes.