What Is Bots.[Defination]

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Internet bot in AI cyberspace. Digital technology and wireless networks. Bot, robot, drone, artificial intelligence 3D illustration

To manage bots effectively, it is important to understand what bots are. A bot is simply a computer program that can operate in a network automatically. Bots can perform tasks better and faster than people. They perform specific actions that range from simple to complex.

For example, Google Bots constantly crawl through web pages and index content on site pages to make such content available for search. It would take a very long time for people to deal with such tasks. Bots from Google are crawling the Web in seconds.

Good vs. Bad Bots

Bad bot traffic accounts for 25% of all Internet traffic according to 2020 statistics. In 2020, only 60% of internet traffic was trafficking in people. The remainder (15%) was good bot traffic.

Bad bots can be defined as bots engaged in hazardous online activity such as web scraping, digital ad fraud, fraud in transactions, spam, data mining, raw force attacks and personal/financial data collection.

Good bots are bots which undertake legitimate and productive tasks. Google Search Bots are an excellent example of good bots which are primarily designed to make information online easier for internet users. Other good examples include chatbots for customer service and performance monitoring systems. Good bots do not misuse products/services online, access user accounts or stolen private information.

How to Manage Bots

Bot management involves blocking bad bots from unwanted or malicious activities on your web site while allowing good bots to access web properties. The process involves detecting and assessing bot activity for desirability or unwantedness. In order to effectively manage bots, it is also important to identify sources of bad bots or undesirable activities.

Bot Managers

Bot management is enabled by bot managers that are just software products that manage bots. The software can also block good and bad bots. Instead of blocking all bot traffic, good bot managers can distinguish good and bad bots and act accordingly.

As already mentioned, we need good solutions to perform important tasks online. If good bots like Google bots are blocked, the amount of traffic that goes to the website can be significantly reduced.

Bot managers can effectively perform their tasks by initially identifying bot and trafficking. The best bot managers can also identify a bot’s reputation and origin (IP address) and behaviour. They may also take potentially bad bots by various tests, i.e. by injecting captcha or JavaScript, to establish whether certain bots have or should not have access to certain or all resources.

How are bot managers working?

To identify the bots, bot managers use captcha or JavaScript challenges. Bot managers also use other behavioral analysis tactics. This approach involves comparing existing behavior with standard user behaviour. The best bot managers have a large database of behavioral data they can verify.

If the bot manager finds the bot to be bad, the bot is blocked from accessing or redirected to a new web page or resource. Good bots are added to special lists known as lists allow.

Bot managers also use behavioral analytics, captcha, or JavaScript challenges to create honeypot “traps.” A honeypot can be defined as a counterfeit trap for bad actors. Honeypots can be web pages on a site that prevent bots from using files from robots.txt. Good bots can read the files and avoid those web pages. But bad bots will try to expose these pages. Tracking IPs of bots which access honeypots facilitate the identifying and blocking of bad bots.

Importance of Bot Managers

It is important to be able to manage bots to prevent bot attacks. Bot managers stop a lot of attacks, the most remarkable being;

DDoS attacks

Bot managers stop attacks on DDoS that use compromised devices, networks and spam requests to overwhelm servers, resource processing and bandwidth. Attacks by DDoS make websites, apps and services unavailable.

Credential stuffing

Bot managers also stop credentials attacks. Cyber criminals use wrongful bots to attempt to gain access to stolen or leaked credentials. Grade attacks give rogue elements access to user accounts and systems. Users using similar credentials are most likely to receive credentials on many accounts.

Card stuffing

Cyber criminals use bots to access the creation of gift card accounts. They create counterfeit cards and use them to make purchases after access is gained. Alternatively, credit card data is robbed and purchases are made using these cards.

Web scraping

A bot manager can also stop a web attack. The attacks use bots to scan and collect proprietary resources from a site or storage equipment. The resources include information about the product, prices, hidden files, etc. The most susceptible to web scrapping are ecommerce websites, like online gaming sites and ticketing sites..

Intelligence harvesting

Bots can scan sites, social media and online forums to collect user information. The information is then used to permit phishing attacks, i.e. to use personal data that imitates authority sites to make the user provide confidential information.

Other bot manager benefits

Bots also stop fraud and ad fraud by clicking. They also mitigate unwanted activities such as storage of inventories, cart stuffing and automated social media posting.

Wrapping Up

How bots are handled is important because bad bots can cause serious problems if left unchecked. Too much bad traffic can slow down web servers and websites and deny site users the services they need. Malicious bots also can steal personal data from users and use it to commit crimes, steal financial resources and carry out numerous other cybercrimes.

The best way to manage bots is to use the well tested and proven bot manager to protect against attacks from bottles without blocking good bots. The best bot managers can collect thousands of requests per day and use these information to detect malicious bots through computational analysis and machine learning. Bot managers should, in a nutshell, block bad while allowing good bots.

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