In its Scraping Threat Report 2015, issued today, the increasing threat to online businesses from data theft due to web scraping is outlined by global IT security industry experts ScrapeSentry.
Analysis of ScrapeSentry’s Global Scraping Intelligence Platform, which is the largest database for scraping related activity, has shown another year’s growth in scraping attacks on the six sectors at greatest risk of the activity. Those sectors are Travel, Online Classifieds, Online Directories, Ticketing, Betting and E-Commerce.
In the case of the Travel Industry, it has seen scraper numbers more than double from 15% of visitors in 2013 to 33% last year.
The Online Classified sector has seen a similarly dramatic increase from 14% to 30% in the same time frame.
Online Directories suffered from almost a third of visitors being scrapers at 30%, which is up 8% on last year.
Ticketing sites have also seen a big increase in scraping traffic over the year, having it jump from 9% to 27% of visits.
Betting sites experienced high amounts of scraping traffic at 25% in 2014, thanks in part to the World Cup, when in 2013, they saw only 8%.
Seeing the smallest overall increase in scraping activity last year was the general E-Commerce sector, which experienced just a 3% increase in scraping to bring it to 15%.
New to the 2015 report is ScrapeSentry’s identification of a botnet which has infected more than 1.3 million IP addresses over the course of 2014 and is seen to be growing by 10,000 new infections a week.
Highlights from the ScrapeSentry Threat Report 2015 includes:
- Increase in overall scraping activity for the fifth year in a row
- 22% of visitors to websites are identified as scrapers (up from 18% last year)
- 17% increase in scraping attacks across all industries in 2014
- The hardest hit site in the survey received 60% of its traffic from scrapers
- 49 % of all scraping activity originated from USA
Martin Zetterlund, Founding Partner of ScrapeSentry commented, “Very recently we’ve seen airlines announce increases in booking fees to tickets booked through third parties, because scraping and the loss of revenue that causes, is a very real threat to their businesses. The 2015 Scraping Threat Report clearly shows the challenges the travel industry, and airlines in particular face.”
“We know that the means to scrape is now even more easily sourced and the profits from scraping can be considerable, so the incentive to continue to scrape and to invest in it as a business form in itself grows. Scrapers are not going away, and the threat to online businesses will continue to increase. This year has shown some worrying growth in data theft and we hope that all online businesses, and the ones in the at risk sectors in particular, will take this report as a wake-up call to review how they are being affected by scraping”.
As the world’s first organisation to identify the threat of Web Scraping to online businesses and to develop the solution, ScrapeSentry, is the global leader in anti-scraping and works with many high profile organisations to protect them from scrapers.
The report is available from