Bot traffic in Google Analytics...from Amazon servers located in Ashburn! Wait...what?!

We were recently contacted by a NZ based client with the following question...

We’ve noticed a spike in traffic from Ashburn. Can you please let us know where that is?
— client X

Looking into Google Analytics data, it was noticeable that this traffic was out of Ashburn, USA.  Applying this as a segment, the associated metrics screamed out that this was indeed bot traffic (Time on page = 0.00; Bounce rate = 100.0%; all sessions generated using Chrome version 27.0.1453.116)

But what was unexpected was the Service Provider.  It was Hubspot - with the Network Domain being  The bot traffic was actually coming from Amazon Web Services.

In conducting further research on this, this issue looks to have been happening for quite a few years (such as this post from 2013) but it seems that this is becoming more frequent.

Should we be worried about bot traffic from Amazon?

In short, yes!  Treat them as you would any other potential malicious bot.  The reason being is that the bots may not be coming from the company itself - but could be disguised as such.  

We recommend to create filters to exclude this traffic from your Google Analytics profile.  Use segmentation to isolate traffic to the sure-tell signs of bots (Time of Page = 0.01 seconds (or a number extremely low); Bounce rate=100%Source/Medium = "Direct" - amongst others.  We suggest also checking Browser and Browser version too).

(Note: in the above filter, we did ensure that all traffic to "City=Ashburn" was bot traffic by cross referencing against other metrics such as bounce rate.  Also, given that client is local, any traffic from the US would be unqualified traffic anyway)

Doing this will ensure your data (or your client's data) will be clean, accurate and reliable!  Happy filtering.