Cloudflare has a new plan to fight bots — and climate change

Cloudflare has a new plan to fight bots — and climate change

Cloudflare is ratcheting up its fight against bots with a new “fight mode,” which it says will frustrate and disincentivize bot operators from their malicious activity.

Bots are notorious for scraping websites and abusing developer access to download gobs of user data. All too often bots try to game the system by scraping concert or airline ticket prices to buy in bulk at their lowest price and sell them off for higher. Worse, some imitate real users and brute-force their way into websites with lists of stolen passwords.

Cloudflare gets three billion bot requests each day. Now the company said it has “decided to fight back.”

Its new “bot fight mode,” which Cloudflare today enabled as a free opt-in feature for all accounts, will detect and serve bots with deliberately computationally intensive challenges. As the bot tries to crunch the impossible puzzle — effectively a small bit of code only visible to the bot — the bot’s server will max out its processing power, churning up cloud resources and driving up costs for the bot operator.

While the company says its efforts will dissuade bot activities in the long run, it recognizes its efforts in the short term will result in cloud servers working overtime, thus consuming more electricity and requiring more coolin

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