Bad Bots and Malware are evident in the online world, and health care websites are one of its affected industries, despite the growing threat of the coronavirus. CAPTCHA verification is also apparent in most health care websites as they require it to know if the user trying to log on to the service is a human and not a bot.

Most of the check-ups are happening virtually, and people rely on this method to ensure their health and well-being, but sometimes, it's a pain to have a lot of CAPTCHA verifications. The CAPTCHA was said to be an unreliable verification tool soon, as bots can crack down on it. 

Are Bad Bots, Malware Threatening Health Websites?

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COVID-19 has pushed this generation to be more inclined to use digital services and methods, as everyone was kept in quarantine from the public. This helped in preventing the spread of the virus and keep people safe from infection, which may lead to death. Amidst this, a lot of services were launched online, as well as health care, among other things. 

People now rely on apps or websites to contact their doctor or to have a virtual assessment and track their health. Through this, people can stay healthy and at ease during the pandemic. Malware has been targetting a lot of websites and industries, and health websites are not an exception

According to Health Tech, this is a case of "Bad Bots," and its goal is to enter websites and wreak havoc among them, despite the many people that use and needs the service. 

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Rise of Bad Bots, Increased CAPTCHA Verifications

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LEIPZIG, GERMANY - JANUARY 12: A doctor and a nurse consult a computer monitor in the Covid intensive care unit at Leipzig university hospital (Universitaetsklinikum Leipzig) during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on January 12, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. The hospital currently has 43 Covid patients in intensive care. A staff member said the numbers have spiked and ebbed in recent months but are rising overall. Of those Covid patients admitted for intensive care, roughly half do not survive, she said. The state of Saxony, where Leipzig is located, currently has the highest Covid infection rate of any state in Germany. The total number of Covid-related deaths to date in Saxony has skyrocketed, from 458 two months ago, on November 11, to approximately 4,130 today.

Imperva has studied the rise of bad bots in the past months, and from September 2020 to February 2021 alone, there has been a significant amount of these threat actors present. Bad bots could appear as humans in browsers and could make traffic bad for the website. However, that is not the only threat that a bad bot can bring, as it could also take down the site.

For this, CAPTCHA verification is a widely used tool to keep the "bots" away, and it has increased its presence on most websites for protection purposes. However, there is a rising fear of robots learning the way of CAPTCHAs and soon surpassing it. 

That being said, the growing threats against online health care systems are apparent and are something that is a problem now.

Should Hospitals Focus on This Problem Now?

If not now, then when? The problem of bad bots and the impending threat of malware may cripple the health system, especially if they are targeted and infected by viruses. 

The world is currently on the edge because of COVID-19 and the Delta Variant that has been rampantly spreading, and affecting these hospitals may hinder the service they render.

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Written by Isaiah Richard

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