Why Bad Bots Are the Digital Demons of the Internet

In the dimly lit corners of the internet, where shadows flicker and eerie silences prevail, there lurks entities of malevolent intent. They are not the stuff of old wives’ tales or campfire ghost stories. We’re talking about bad bots, the digital bogeymen of the digital age. These nefarious beings are lines of code that wreak havoc on unsuspecting websites, companies, and online consumers.

Once upon a time, bots were the benign spirits of the internet, performing mundane tasks to make our digital lives easier. But as with all tales of darkness, some went astray. Controlled by bad actors, bad bots began scraping data, spamming and spreading disinformation, launching DDoS attacks, and committing fraud. Their whispers became the stuff of digital nightmares, causing sleepless nights for webmasters and security experts.

The latest analysis of the bot landscape by Imperva Threat Research paints a chilling picture: 19% of bots are considered advanced, wielding the power to conduct intricate business logic and account takeover attacks. Meanwhile, 39% display moderate complexity, and the remaining 42% are simple, yet still menacing in their own right. These digital demons have a particular appetite for certain sectors– financial services, business, and computing sites are the top three targets for all bot attacks. 

There are several breeds of bad bots:

  • Shadow Scrapers: Like digital vampires, these bots suck out valuable data from websites for competitive advantage or to sell on the dark web.
  • DDoS Demons: These bots band together to launch synchronized attacks that overwhelm and crash websites, leaving them inaccessible to genuine users.
  • Account Apparitions: These bots haunt online platforms, attempting to take over user accounts. Once in, they steal personal information, make unauthorized purchases, or spread further digital darkness.
  • Purchasing Poltergeists: These spectral shoppers haunt eCommerce sites, automating the buying process to snatch up high-demand items before genuine customers can click ‘purchase’. Often used in ticketing or limited-edition product drops, they leave real users empty-handed and frustrated.
  • Creation Curses: These bots lurk in the shadows of registration pages, conjuring up fake accounts at an alarming rate. Their dark purpose? To spam, scam, and sow discord, turning digital communities into haunted graveyards.
  • Coupon Conjurers: These bots tirelessly guess and apply coupon codes, seeking unauthorized discounts. Their relentless attempts can slow down eCommerce sites, and when successful, they erode profit margins.
  • Scanner Specters: These digital phantoms tirelessly probe websites, searching for vulnerabilities to exploit. Like ghostly locksmiths, they try every door and window, looking for a way in, ready to unleash chaos once they breach the defenses.

How to Mitigate Bad Bot Attacks on Your Website:

  • Invest in bot security. Invest in advanced bot management solutions that detect and block malicious bot activity.
  • Stay vigilant. Regularly monitor your website traffic. The signs of a bot attack can often be subtle, like an unexpected spike in traffic or an increase in failed login attempts.
  • Implement two-factor authentication (2FA). Implementing 2FA can deter many automated attacks, especially those targeting user accounts.
  • Implement firewalls. A robust web application firewall (WAF) can detect and block malicious bot traffic, acting as a protective barrier between your website and the malevolent entities lurking in the shadows.

The post Why Bad Bots Are the Digital Demons of the Internet appeared first on Blog.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog authored by Gabi Stapel. Read the original post at: https://www.imperva.com/blog/bad-bots-are-the-digital-demons-of-the-internet/