Machines constantly serve to improve human lives and increase labor efficiency. Today a lot of that potential lies in the Internet robots or simply bots. Modern Internet cannot be imagined without the bots implementation. With the growing presence of all digital in our lives, bots are starting to play an essential role in almost every major process that involves the Internet. In this article we will dig down to bots lore.
What Is a Bot? Meaning and Definition
In basic terms, a Bot can be pictured as the program created specifically to perform repetitive tasks over a long period of time. To better understand what is bot mean, we can describe it as the main instrument for automating interactions with webpages.
For example, search engines highly rely on bots that help maintain their day-to-day work. In this case, bots are used for web-indexing and analyzing content of web pages. With the help of bots, search engines can keep sites cataloged and easily accessible at any time.
Overall, more than half of all the traffic on the Internet is generated by bots. Today, bots have become a part of everyday life for nearly every Internet user. Bots participate in your online shopping, deals research or online banking.
For full understanding of how does a bot work, it is also important to mention the cases of misuse. In some cases, bots can be seen as a part of malicious actions like hacker attacks or spam spreading. Ultimately, bots can serve a lot of purposes and accomplish different tasks.
Computer Bots and Internet Bots
In the modern Internet more than half of all traffic is generated and comes from the activity of bots. In the previous paragraph, we already discussed what is a computer bot. With that knowledge now we can say that bots practically became the main and essential tool for customer service, online search systems work and lots of other processes on the Internet.
Most organizations and even individuals use bots to get rid of repetitive tasks that can be entrusted to a robot. Bots typically deal with easy sets of tasks at much higher speeds than people can. For business, that can be a perfect tool for maintaining a lot of simple, but time eating processes.
For example, a company can set up a scraping bot that will help to collect information about other deals on the market, retailers actions or advertising programs details. Often organizations use lead generation bots to boost their sales in certain areas. In these cases of use, bots can be powered up with a set of datacenter proxies for maintaining the best performance for a long time.
However, bots in online space can be used equally for harming and developing useful tasks. Cyber criminals also find use in bots and make them serve as tools for hacker attacks. Bots used for malicious purposes that involve password brute-forcing, spam spreading, packet analyzing and processing DDoS attacks.
Now that we discussed what is a bot and how does it work, we can say that bots have several most popular and used forms designed for specific kinds of tasks. For example, most of the online customer service solutions use chatbots for maintaining work. These bots help to handle typical user requests and save customers workers time for more complex tasks. However, chatbots need constant input of new information, which can cause a slower response time in some situations.
Some developers can use download bots to increase the visible number of completed downloads of their app. Bots of this kind are capable of automatic download of a dozen apps, software and other programs in a short time. However, the same bots can be used as the tool for DoS attacks.
Another type of bots can solve the same tasks but in the field of social media platforms. Social media bots can artificially increase the number of followers, post views, likes and other metrics. These bots can also be used in a malicious way, to influence people’s opinion or to promote spam.
Some of the bots can be tracked by unusual behavior on your system. If you think that your computer can possibly become a part of a botnet, it is better to keep an eye on your system trackers. For example, your PC can start crashing, work poorly, take a long time to power on or shut down. Also, you can see random popups on your screen or find programs you never installed. All these details may indicate a device’s infection by a virus or computer becoming part of the botnet.
Bots can also attack a company’s infrastructure. For example, you can control your traffic trends and watch for spikes that have no reason. Bot attacks also can be detected by traffic peaks at nighttime for your targeted market.
The activity of bots can also be given out by an intense bounce rate. This can indicate that the bot is targeting your site, visiting the first page and leaving immediately. So a high bounce rate in normal conditions can say about the attack with a high probability.
You also can keep an eye on the source of traffic on your site. For example, if you target the North America locations, but start to get traffic from Asia. Such activity can indicate bot activity or even a group of bots from that region. Some of the bot attacks can include slowing down your server work with numerous requests. In the worst scenarios, these attacks can lead to sites going offline.
Another way to tell apart a bot and regular user involves tracking of speech patterns. The same language patterns from different IPs can indicate bot activity from one source.
Advantages of Bots
Most of the bot use cases lie in the commercial field of use. With the right bot setup, businesses can better understand and track the customer base they are working with. Some of the bot tasks may require a private proxy use.
For example, more often companies tend to implement chatbots not only on sites, but in social media pages. This way, customers can get a fast response to most popular questions and learn all about the product without interaction with employees. This can be an easy and fast way of growing a company’s customer base.
Bots can also fill the gaps of work for customer service in night or busy hours. Bots can easily entertain and keep several customers busy till the customer service employee will come to proceed to talk. Some businesses start to use bots powered with an AI to reduce workload and response time even less.
Bots can also be used as the tools for harvesting and scraping information. Scraping tools are one of the most used in the field of marketing and advertising. With the right setup of scraping bot and static residential proxies, companies can collect information about their ad companies in certain locations or even cities.
Malicious Bot Activity
Most of the time malicious types of bots are used by cyber criminals to damage computer systems and steal sensitive data. One of the most popular bots for these activities is called spambots. They used to send infected content via e-mail or shady websites advertisements. Spambots can steal your personal information or place adware and other types of viruses on your computer.
With 2FA and OTP codes becoming popular, hackers started using new tools for scamming like voice bots. With the help of the voice bots hacker can pretend to be a legitimate voice robot of the site you are using. Bots like these can call you and ask for a security code to get access to your account.
File-sharing bots can use your search history to give false links in browser search. By clicking on that link your computer can be infected with different types of viruses. Vulnerability scanner bot uses the same pattern of work to make an attack. Bots like these can try to access your network and scan it for weak points.
Infected computers can be programmed to attack one site with lots of requests, trying to shut it off. For these types of attack hackers use DDoS or botnets, made of infected computers. In case of malicious actions, the answer to the question: “What is a bot net?”, will lie in the field of cybersecurity definition. The bot net in most of the cases means a net of computers that were infected with special malware. Each infected machine can be controlled to participate in hacker attacks. This way hackers can corrupt the regular work of the site and blackmail site owners for some actions.
How Do Companies Deal With Malicious Bots?
Hacker attacks in most cases rely on victims that don’t know how to stay secure on the Internet or on the ones who don’t pay enough attention to that. By adhering to the basics of cybersecurity, you can eliminate a lot of hacker treats.
For example, a properly configured firewall can allow you to build the first and the main line of defense for attacks. If you already were infected, it’s better to try malware removal software or other antivirus solutions. In some cases, your systems may need a complete
Businesses should always keep an eye on their cybersecurity and overall sustainable work of systems in use. First of all, it is necessary to keep all of the protecting mechanisms updated to the last version. Attacks of bots are always aiming at vulnerabilities that can be closed with the latest updates of your software.
It is also wise to implement two or more factor authentications everywhere it’s possible. More than these additional investments in cybersecurity systems and in bot activity trackers can save a company from many hacker threats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.
What is bot?
In most cases' bot can be understood as the program designed to perform simple and recurring tasks. After setup, a bot can make tasks like these automatically without any human intervention.
What proxies are the best to use with bots?
Different types of the bots may require use of different types of proxies. For example, for scraping bots, it is best to look for residential proxies that can provide you with good geo-targeting abilities. If you are looking for a proxy to power up your large scale bot, a reliable set of datacenter proxies can be a good choice.
Why have bots become so popular on the modern Internet?
Todays' Internet is strongly dependent on bots' work. Search engines use bots for cataloging all the pages, companies increase sales and collect information with help of bots and even regular users can use them for automating some of the everyday tasks.
Top 5 posts