Behind the term “bot” there are a lot of automated programs, designed to fulfill different functions. These programs are able to facilitate in different ways, the daily tasks that take place in the company.
However, some of these bots are not always used for legal purposes, in fact, there are some types of malicious bots capable of causing damage to our systems.
Malicious robots can be used for hacking, spamming, spying, interrupting and compromising websites of different sizes. Considering that there are very advantageous robots for companies (such as chatbots for example), it is important to be able to make the difference between good and bad bots and learn how to protect yourself from the latter.
If you want to know more about malicious bots and some tips to protect yourself better, don’t miss this article we have for you.
Bots” are nothing more than computer programs that automatically perform the tasks for which they were created.
In spite of the fact that in their origins bots performed quite basic tasks, the progress of Artificial Intelligence has propitiated the creation of more sophisticated bots that are even capable of imitating human behavior.
Nowadays, bots have become quite diversified, to the point that there are some that make it easier for companies to collect data about users, index pages in Google or search for information on the web.
Others are able to interact and answer customer questions on support portals. And some, like malicious robots, can steal credentials or negatively impact advertising campaigns.
Specifically speaking of malicious bots, they are nothing more than a type of malware that has the ability to self-propagate like a worm. This type of program can among other things:
- Stealing sensitive data (passwords, bank information, personal data, etc).
- Execute Phishing attacks.
- Participate in Denial of Service attacks
- Retransmit Spam
- Opening back doors on an infected computer.
Some malicious bots may even connect to a central server which serves as the control center for a network of compromised bots. This type of network is called a Botnet.
4 types of malicious bots
Bots for DDoS attack
Denial of service typically occurs when there is an overload of individual components of the IT infrastructure. If this is deliberately caused by an external actor, it is called a DDoS attack.
To execute this type of attack cybercriminals flood systems with many requests from several computers that combine to form a gigantic network of bots or botnets.
As a result, network devices, operating systems and server services cannot respond on time or cannot process requests.
Bots for Inventory Denial Attack
Some unscrupulous sellers may try to run this type of robot on the website of a competitor company. In this type of attack, the malicious 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 legitimate user wants to buy the product, he or she receives the out-of-stock message, even if the item 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
This type of bots collects content from websites. They are in charge of examining databases, extracting information and duplicating it in another site. Many companies use scraping legitimately to collect data about their website and its users. In this case, the same company sets up the bot and gives it access to its systems.
Malicious scraping bots, on the other hand, steal information from third parties. After getting what they want, some cybercriminals may even sell the stolen information on the Deep web.
For affected companies, this type of theft translates into a reduction in the number of authentic visits to their website, and a loss of brand value.
Credential Filling Attacks
Credentialing bots automate false account creation, website access, and forum contamination.
These bots steal credentials by testing all possible combinations of accounts and passwords automatically, or by exploiting known and uncorrected vulnerabilities.
During this type of attack, robots use identifying information stolen from one site (usernames and passwords) to attempt to connect to other sites. This identifying information is usually obtained through massive data leaks that are then published online or resold. The most sophisticated attacks rely on numerous robots to make connection attempts from different devices.
How to protect your systems?
Malicious bots have become increasingly difficult to detect. This is because there are some bots that perform completely legal actions, such as collecting data from users.
Despite this, there are many effective ways to protect yourself from malicious bots. These are some of them:
- Always stay up to date with the latest patches and updates to your antivirus and other security solutions.
- Integrate a web security scanner that allows you to have an end-to-end view of your attack surfaces and vulnerabilities.
- To block these bots API security is very important. Be sure to apply it to your systems.
- Develop in your company, a solid training program, and security awareness.
Do you want the best solutions for system protection? Contact us. At GB Advisors we have everything you need to guarantee the security of your digital assets. Shield your systems and carry out all your operations with complete confidence thanks to the support of our tools and our team of professionals.
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