What is Bot Attacks?

What is Bot Attacks?

The first thing you need to know is what bots are before we dive into the question of what is bot attacks. Bots are software that can perform automated tasks without any human intervention. They can do the tasks error-free and quickly. Bots can be useful as well as harmful for devices or computers because bots can be infected by malware which allows them to be controlled by third parties or cybercriminals, that too remotely. You must have heard about terms like bot attacks and botnet, whenever there is news about cybercrimes. We will discuss what are bad bots and how to differentiate between good bots vs bad bots, everything will be discussed in this article. Continue reading to know about how to stop bot attack on website and what is bot protection.

What is Bot Attacks?

What is Bot Attacks?

If someone tries to manipulate, defraud, or damage website, app using automated web requests, then this is termed as Bot attacks. 

What are Bad Bots?

Bots usually perform useful tasks and are quick and accurate. But they can be harmful when they are infected with malware and thus bots can perform some unwanted tasks which can be detrimental to you and your data. These are known as bad bots. These malicious bots can steal your data, give access to cybercriminals to your account and personal information, and can be used for other malicious activities. But, how do you know if a bot is bad, let’s discuss that in the next section.

How Do You Know If a Bot Is Bad?

You will know if a bot is bad or not by the process of Bot Detection. The process gives you all the insights into the traffic of bots to a website, APIs (application programming interface), or smartphone applications. There are good bots and bad bots in the traffic, and bot detection prevents and blocks malicious and bad bots and allows good bots and legitimate visitors. Bot detection also helps you to protect from bot attacks by cybercriminals. But what is bot attacks, let’s head onto the next section and discuss it in detail.

What is Bot Attacks?

As you have learned about bad bots and they can be harmful. Bad bots are not computer generated, they can only be made by persons or organizations to access and steal your data, hack a system or an organization, disrupt a website, and more. Such attacks on your system with the help of bots are known as bot attacks. Bot attacks are also possible on your smartphone. Bot attacks are usually done by cybercriminals or by an organization mainly because of financial gain and sometimes for recognition. There are many types of bot attacks, so let’s discuss some bot attack examples in the next section.

Bot Attack Example

These malicious infected bots can perform various tasks that can be harmful to your system or organization’s security. Some examples of bot attacks are mentioned below:

1. Spambot

This is a type of bot attack where bots are programmed to send unwanted, malicious, and spam e-mails and messages to users. These bots may contain computer viruses that can seriously harm your system. And it is one of the most common bot attacks carried out by cybercriminals or by some organizations.

2. Spyware

Spyware is another type of bot attack. It is malware that is designed to gather information from your system and this malware gets installed automatically without any informed consent. From your bank details, and passwords, to any data that is stored in your system, this malware can access it. Cybercriminals or organizations who got access to your details and information can sell it to other people or organizations.

3. Denial-of-service

It is a cyber-attack where bots are used to shut down a network or machine by flooding a target or targets with unwanted requests and disrupting the user to perform any task and blocking the system if it’s connected to a network with huge traffic of requests. This bot attack does not pose any threat to data stealing or illegal accessing of information, but it does damage big companies, media houses, banks, etc. with loss of time and money.

4. Click-fraud

Click fraud is another type of bot attack where a person or a bot pretends to be a legitimate user and visits a webpage and clicks on an advertisement or any link, this happens on a large scale. Cybercriminals or companies do this for financial benefit by fraud clicking multiple times on multiple links with the help of a large number of bots.

5. Web scraping

It is a process where bots are used to extract data and content from a website. Such bots are hard to recognize, as scraping bots perform similar tasks as malicious bots. Scraping is also used for illegal purposes like undercutting the prices of a product on a website and can steal copyright content.

How to Stop Bot Attack on Website?

Now let’s check how to stop a bot attack on website. Below are some of the methods or ways to help you stop bot attacks on a website.

1. Add CAPTCHA

You can add a CAPTCHA, where you need to solve a puzzle or select certain images to be recognized as valid users. The CAPTCHA can help to filter out some bots but is not helpful when it comes to advanced malicious bots.

2. Set a JavaScript alert

JavaScript can be useful to alert or notify you whenever traffic of bots tries to enter the website. Setting the right JavaScript in place will alert you when a malicious or similar bot enters the website.

3. Use bot detection & mitigation software

With the help of mitigation & bot detection software, you can stop bot attacks quite adequately. The software identifies bad bots and prevents them from entering your system or website. The software is very accurate and quick.

4. Keep your software updated

The foremost thing one should do is keep their software up-to-date if they don’t want bot attacks on their system. As updating your software will update the security patches that usually come with every new update which will help to keep your system secure.

5. Do not access malicious websites and links

You get spam e-mails and messages sometimes for winning a huge prize and telling you to click on a link or visit a website, or sometimes there are ads and hyperlinks in websites, that can contain malicious bots which can be harmful to your device. So, it is necessary to avoid such emails and try not to visit such websites and click on any links or advertisements.

Good Bots vs Bad Bots

Now, look at some of the differences between good bots vs bad bots.

Good Bot Bad Bot
A good bot performs tasks that are useful to a user or a website. It does not harm and is programmed for doing only helpful tasks. A bad bot performs unwanted tasks that are harmful to a user, website or an organization.
Good bots are not infected with malware Bad bots are infected by malware and perform malicious activities with a user’s consent.
Types of good bots are

Search engine bots, social network bots, voice engine bots, marketing bots, etc.

Bad bots are used to carry out bot attacks, and some well-known bot attacks are

Web scraping, spambot, spyware, etc.

Hence, these are the difference between good bots vs bad bots.  

What is Bot Protection?

Bot protection is a kind of software or application that helps to prevent bad bots or malicious bots from entering the system or website. Bot protection is fast and mitigates malicious activity by bots, which helps to protect applications and APIs against different bad bots and bot attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How to prevent botnet attacks?

Ans. By following the below-mentioned points you can prevent botnet attacks:

  • Keep your software up-to-date
  • Monitor your work and activity on the internet
  • Monitor login attempts by bots or someone
  • Make use of advanced bot protection & mitigation software
  • Surf and download from only authentic websites

Q2. Do bad bots affect mobile devices?

Ans. Yes, malicious bots or bad bots can affect your mobile device. Just like a laptop or computer can be attacked by bad bots, a mobile device can also be attacked by bad bots used by cybercriminals to hack into your system.

Q3. What are the risks of bot attacks?

Ans. There are many security risks associated with bot attacks. Some major risks are,

  • Data theft
  • File corruption
  • Financial loss
  • Legal problems
  • Remediation costs

Recommended:

Bot attacks are a serious threat to a user, to a company, or to an organization and the growing rate of cybercrimes using bad bots to perform nefarious activities is a major concern of today. After going through this article, we hope that you have learned about what is bot attacks, what is bot protection and good bots vs bad bots. Please mention your queries and suggestions in the comment section below. 

Posted by

Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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