Malicious Bots – What Are They and How Can You Avoid Them? •

As the name suggests, malicious bots are software programs that are designed to do harmful actions. They do this by using a number of different methods, including social engineering to compromise your computer and then performing various tasks for the people who designed the attack: stealing your passwords, credit card details, banking information, and other financial data, and sending spam or performing other attacks. Once a malicious bot has taken control of your computer, it can be extremely hard to remove.

The internet is a big place. And just like any big place, it is not uncommon to run into someone who you don’t want to have a conversation with. Maybe it is a stray salesperson, or a persistent neighbor, or someone whose sole purpose in life is to annoy you. This is especially so in online forums, where you can’t physically see the person you are talking to. Unfortunately, online bots can also come in the form of malicious software that has the same goal of annoying you, and it can be even harder to detect.

Bots are software programs that use the Internet to conduct automated tasks, such as sending spam e-mail or launching large-scale cyber attacks. In general, a bot is any software that runs automated tasks over the Internet. If you’re wondering why you should know about malicious bots, it’s because all bots are not malicious. In fact, most bots are not malicious and do not have the ability to damage your computer or steal your information. In fact, most bots are harmless web bots that do useful things for the Internet, such as indexing web pages to make them easier to find or processing data that would be too much for one person to handle. Although most bots are harmless, malicious bots are becoming more common and can do real damage to your

40% of all internet traffic comes from bots, half of which are malicious bots. Malicious bot activities are at the root of the vast majority of cyber attacks and can have many negative consequences for your website and business: Data theft, account takeover (ATO), spam issues, and even large-scale DDoS attacks, to name a few. Therefore, a bot prevention strategy aimed at detecting and effectively managing the actions of malicious bots is now a necessity for any business with a website and online presence. word-image-8274 Image source: Pixabay

Preventive problems of bone

The idea of preventing bots is pretty simple: Detect the presence of traffic from non-real human users and prevent them from completing their transactions. In reality, this is easier said than done because of two major problems:

  • There are good robots. While bots are notorious for their malicious attacks, there are also good ones, such as. B. Googlebot, which can be useful and even necessary for your website. We don’t want to prevent these good robots from accessing our site.
  • Bots impersonate human users. Today’s robot operators are highly advanced and use the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, so robots are now very capable of disguising their identities. We don’t want to see legitimate users accidentally blocked, which can hurt your company’s reputation in the long run.

Therefore, we can no longer rely on simple solutions to prevent and mitigate malicious bots, but must also combat them with the right advanced tools and infrastructure.

How robot security works

  1. Fingerprint-based approach

In this type of technique, the bot management solution analyzes the bot traffic and looks for various fingerprints or signatures that may indicate the presence of malicious bots. Here are some examples of fingerprint-based methods:

  • Check the user agent for common headless browser fingerprints (modified).
  • Checks for attributes that should or should not be present in the browser assumed by the user agent.
  • Analysis of the operating system and browser type and their consistency

The weakness of this approach is that it requires a known reference point (fingerprint) to be effective, so it is generally not effective for detecting entirely new bots.

  1. Behavioural approach

This is currently the most advanced approach, where the bot management solution analyzes customer behavior and compares it to real human behavior. Solutions to prevent bots using this technique rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to effectively distinguish bot behavior from legitimate users. In the context of behavioral detection, a robot management solution will analyze these factors:

  • clicks of the mouse, there’s a discernible pattern.
  • Mouse movements (linear or structured movements)
  • Consistency and scrolling speed
  • Keyboard strokes
  • Average time spent on page
  • Number of applications per session
  • Total number of page views per session
  • If the client is blocking certain resources

Currently, behavior-based bot detection methods are most effective in distinguishing not only human users from bots, but also good bots from malicious ones.

Protection of bone: Lock or unlock

Let’s assume that we have correctly identified the client as a bot and that we are 100% sure that it is a malicious bot after careful analysis of its behavior. Wouldn’t it be more effective to just block this robot’s access to the site? When a bot is blocked, we do not have to manage its traffic, apply any security measures or record anything. In short, isn’t blockchain the most cost-effective approach? Answer: Not always. In fact, there are cases where blocking a bot is a bad idea. Why? Blocking a bot will not prevent a persistent attacker from attacking your site. Instead, when the bot is blocked, you are simply informed that it is time to modify the bot to circumvent your security measures. If you’re not careful, the error message you give when blocking traffic can even be valuable information for them on how to modify these bots. So even if you decide to block traffic, make sure you don’t give any information about why the traffic is being blocked, and you can just say something like Oops! We have a problem, please contact our support team here. So preventing bots is not always a matter of blocking. There are other ways to effectively manage bot traffic, including:

  • Honeypot and false data transmission

An effective technique is to respond to the bot with false data or content to distract it. In this way, we keep the robot active and let it waste its resources, while false data poisons its results and makes the data extracted by this robot useless. Another option is to redirect the bot to another page or application that looks authentic, but contains fake or stripped-down content.

  • Call the robot with CAPTCHA

CAPTCHAs and other test-based bot security methods are no longer very effective, especially given the availability of CAPTCHA farm services. Additionally, too many CAPTCHAs can have a negative impact on your visitors’ user experience. However, if we are 100% sure that it is a malicious bot, we can challenge it with a CAPTCHA, which can still be effective from time to time. Speed limitation or braking can be effective in deterring the robot, which will then go to another destination. Bots use resources that can be quite expensive in the long run. By slowing down, the robot operator will simply give up in most cases.

End of words

The most effective approach to a bot prevention strategy is to invest in DataDome, a bot detection and management software that can effectively detect the presence of bot traffic and distinguish between good and bad bots in real time. As malicious bots become increasingly sophisticated at hiding their identities and impersonating humans, a good bot prevention strategy becomes a necessity for any business with a website and online operations.Bots are programs that run automated tasks over the internet, usually to gather information. They are created by individuals, companies, or governments and can be used for good or bad purposes. In the case of malicious bots, they are created to cause harm or steal information, and they usually are not able to recognize when a person is real or in a bot. Some bots are created to mimic human conversations on social media, while others try to steal private information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and more.. Read more about how do malware bots work and let us know what you think.

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