DoS or DDoS bots can be used to overwhelming number of bots to overload a server’s resources and halting the service from operating.
Spambots, are a kind of bots that posts promotional content to drive traffic to a particular website.
Malicious bots include web crawlers, credential stuffing, email address harvesting and brute force password cracking. A bot manager can be used to stop the malicious bots.
Malicious bot activity
The malicious activities can be any automated actions that violate a website owner’s intentions, the site’s Terms of Service, or the site’s Robots.txt rules for bot behavior. Bots can be used to attempt to carry out cybercrime. The Cyber crimes include hacking, spamming, spying, interrupting and compromising websites of different sizes. Some of these activities would be illegal and the bots do not have to break any laws to be considered malicious.
Sometimes there is an intentional excessive bot traffic which can be overwhelm a web server’s resources. This results in slowing or stopping service for the genuine users trying to use a website or an application and takes the form of a DoS or DDoS attack. Malicious bot activity includes:
- Credential stuffing
- Web/content scraping
- DoS or DDoS attacks
- Brute force password cracking
- Inventory hoarding
- Spam content
- Email address harvesting
- Click fraud
To initiate these attacks and disguise the source of the attack traffic, malicious bots might be distributed in a botnet which often without the knowledge of the device owners. Because each device has its own IP address, botnet traffic comes from tons of different IP addresses, making it more difficult to identify and block the source of the malicious bot traffic.
4 types of Malicious Bots
Bots for DDoS attack
Denial of service occurs by flooding the targeted host or network with traffic until the target crashes or unable to respond to the request, which leads to preventing access for genuine users. If it is to flood the traffic of more number of servers or components in a network, it will be considered as a DDoS attack. To launch this attacks, the attacker flood systems with many requests from different systems that combine to form a gigantic network of bots or botnets. As a result, network components, operating systems and server services cannot respond on time or cannot process requests.
Bots for Inventory Denial Attack
This kind of bots can initiate from unscrupulous competitors trying to gain an unfair advantage in business. In such kind of attack, the bad bot accesses the shopping cart, selects items from the online store and adds them to the shopping cart, never completing the transaction. As a result, when a user wants to buy the product, he or she gets the out-of-stock message, even if it is in stock. As long as it is in the system, the bot continues to execute this task automatically. If your company sells products online, one of the most effective ways to protect yourself is to integrate a specialized solution into your systems that detects and blocks the attack before the bot accesses your website.
Scraping attack robots
These bots are used to collect the contents from websites. They can examine databases, extract information and duplicate it in other sites. Most of the companies use scraping legitimately to gather the data about their website and its users. In such cases, the company itself sets up the bot and provides the access to its systems. Malicious scraping bots can also used to steal information from third parties. Once they identify what they want, some cybercriminals may sell the stolen data on the Deep web. This would be result in reduction in the number of authentic visits to their website, and a loss of brand value of the Company.
Credential Filling Attacks
The bots for Credentialing can automate false account creation, website access, and forum contamination. These bots are used to steal credentials by checking all possible combinations of accounts and passwords automatically. This can also be done by exploiting known and uncorrected vulnerabilities. On this attack, robots use the gathered stolen information from one site (usernames and passwords) to attempt to connect to another sites. These gathered information is usually obtained through massive data leaks that are then published online or resold. These attacks rely on several robots to make connection attempts from different devices.