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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 27, 2018

Report: Bot attacks going mobile

There is a new threat in the digital space: mobile bot attacks. According to a new report out from Distil Networks nearly 6% of all mobile devices are being used in bad bot attacks. These bots can be used to steal consumer or business data, make fraudulent purchases, and commit DDoS attacks.

by Kristina Knight

Bad bot attacks are on the rise and bad bot networks are at work in six of the major US mobile ISPs according to new data out from Distil Networks. Fraudsters are using mobile devices, which aren't always picked up by website defense systems, to commit fraud, steal data, and commit DDoS attacks, and because of the large number of cellular gateway requests, can be hard to identify and then block.

According to the report about 8% of bad bot traffic is now coming from mobile devices, and nearly half (44%) of mobile ISP gateways have been used in bad bot attacks. On average, about 15 bad bot devices are making requests on each cellular gateway IP each day.

Mobile bots can be anonymous, hiding amongst the large number of legitimate requests that a website receives, and they can switch IPs regularly making the bots harder to identify. These bots use malware on phones, sometimes from email attachments and sometimes embedded in legitimately downloaded apps, and are used to infect mobile devices.

What can businesses do to protect against bad bot attacks?

First, protect exposed APIs and mobile applications, in addition to a brand's website, and share the blocking information between different systems.

Second, evaluate all traffic sources, checking for high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and strange spikes of activity.

Third, monitor failed login attempts and set up alerts to watch these instances of activity.

Fourth, monitor the "failed validation" of gift cards as increases of these failures can be a sign that a bot such as the GiftGhostBot is trying to steal gift card balances.

The full Distil Networks report can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, bad bots, bot attacks, Distil Networks, ecommerce, mobile bot attacks, mobile marketing

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