According to a new study by security company Arkose Labs, 73% of all web and app traffic is malicious, generated by bots and people working in fraud farms. It is reported by Interest Engineering.

The report titled Breaking (Bad) Bots: Bot Abuse Analysis and Other Fraud Benchmarks discusses frauds involving SMS messages, web page scanning, credit card hacking attempts, identity theft, and more. The study analyzed billions of Internet sessions in various industries and regions that took place in the first to third quarters of 2023.

The report divides malicious activities into three categories: those performed by basic bots, intelligent bots, and those carried out by people from fraud farms. Basic bots include simple scripts, repetitive tasks such as filling out forms or clicking links. Intelligent bots are more sophisticated and can mimic human behavior, such as scrolling, typing, or moving the mouse. Fraud farms are groups of people hired to manually perform fraudulent activities, such as creating fake accounts or verifying codes.

The report found that in the first half of 2023, bot attacks increased by 167%, and the number of intelligent bots increased by 291%. These “smart bots” are capable of complex context-dependent interaction that can bypass security measures and deceive users. However, attacks are not limited to bots. The report also found that when bot attacks were blocked by security measures, fraudsters switched to using people. The number of attacks responsible for human fraud farms increased by 49% percent from Q1 to Q2 2023.