During UEFA Euro 2020 Bookmakers Received 3X Increase In Bot-Related Traffic

During the UEFA Euro 2020 competition, data privacy and cybersecurity solutions supplier Imperva Inc has exposed the amount of security dangers encountered by bookies from bot traffic and account takeover attacks.

According to new statistics from Imperva’s Research Labs, UK sportsbooks saw a two-to-three-fold surge in bot-related traffic during the build-up to England team matches. It raised concerns since bot-traffic can be used for account takeover (AT) assaults, in which fraudsters utilise a botnet to acquire unauthorised access to someone else’s accounts.

Bot-traffic can be used for account takeover (AT) assaults, in which fraudsters utilise a botnet to gain unauthorised access to someone else’s accounts, according to the agency.

The days when England played were particularly high-risk, according to Imperva, which saw an increase in ‘account takeover attacks,’ in which fans were deceived into revealing personal information so that thieves could access their accounts or digital wallets.

German gambling sites

Bot traffic on gambling sites in Germany increased 41 percent in the week following the country’s loss of Portugal and leading up to their match against Hungary on June 23.

The analysis also found that the pattern of attacks grew in size as the tournament went, with a noteworthy peak on June 26, the first day of the Round of 16.

Edward Roberts, Director of Strategy, Application Security, Imperva said: “Euro 2020 is the first major international tournament where, thanks to COVID-19, typical revenue sources such as ticket scalping have disappeared.

“As a result, bot operators have re-engineered their tactics to target the rest of us watching at home instead. With so many people loading up their accounts with hefty sums, gaining access is an easy money source for criminals – especially VIP customers who tend to stake huge wagers.”

As reported earlier this year in the Imperva Bad Bot Report 2021, the tremendous growth of bot activity in the sporting and gambling markets reflects comparable activities in industries such as e-commerce and healthcare.

Harmful bot activity

According to the survey, harmful bot activity accounted for more than a quarter of all web traffic in 2020, a new high, while human traffic on websites fell by 5.7 percent.

Advanced persistent bots (APBs), which closely resemble human behaviour and are tougher to detect and stop, accounted for 27.7 percent of all web traffic on gaming and gambling sites last year.

Meanwhile, bad bots accounted for 33.7 percent of online traffic to sporting sites, which were linked to everything from account takeover attacks to promotion misuse and odds scraping.

Roberts continued: “Nearly a third of Brits gamble every week in some form. That’s a gigantic pool of victims for hackers to target. They only need a tiny percentage of their attacks to be successful to make a profit.

“The increased level of bot traffic around the Euros tournament shows an advanced, concerted campaign to trick consumers and damage businesses which is unlikely to stop, especially with the Summer Olympics upcoming.

“Consumers need to watch out for any suspicious forms and URLs on sporting and gaming sites, while businesses need to put in place protections that can identify bad bot traffic and siphon it off without interrupting genuine customers.”

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.