A bot is a computer program that performs specific tasks. Bots that are automated do the work and follow pre-engineered instructions and don’t require human intervention. The bots are engineered to carry out human duties in the same way as people would. In a nutshell, they act and behave like humans. Typically, bots are made to do a single activity again and over again. When compared to people, these automated systems are more effective, dependable, and quick.
The Different Kinds Of Bot
There are several active Internet bots. It’s possible to come across harmful and benign bots. They can be classified into a few different categories, including:
1. Spider Bots
They are an online tool. After browsing the Internet, the bot will download the web pages and access the data. Indexing allows for data retrieval via search. Web crawlers and spider bots are both the same thing. Users visiting the site use resources. The crawlers can’t access these sites without authorization. A file called robots.txt prevents crawlers from visiting specific sites. Bots can access the web pages using the file specified in the header.
This technique is usually found in search engine spider bots. Due to the youth, search engines had difficulties producing meaningful search results in 2000. Now the bots help make results that are the same.
2. Scraper Bots
Scraper Bots collect data from the Internet and store it in a database. The stored content may come in handy again. Scrounging is the process of reading a website’s content. The data provided on eCommerce websites include prices, names, and product specs.
Scrounging is a crime. Certain website owners enable data reading. Scraper bots have been found to obtain copyrighted content from websites they scrape. Your PC may have been infected by harmful software.
3. Spam Bots
Spambots are engineered to collect email Ids from spam email lists and spam them. The bot may collect email Ids from social networking sites, websites, and organizations. In addition to spamming, spambots can use the enormous email address database to do other illegal activities such as credential hacking and form spam.
Hackers use email Ids and well-known passwords to break secured accounts. Form spam URLs are placed into famous websites’ comments or feedback areas.
4. Social Media Bots
These bots are computer programs that post material to Facebook and Twitter. They’re engineered to behave as a symphony to users’ ideas. These bots establish fake accounts and boost the number of users on the original account. According to a study, 9–15% of Twitter pages are social bots. Instagram bots, for example, automate your Instagram interactions. These bots may do everything from like and comment on your posts to responding to polls and sending direct messages to other users. Using such bots saves time and effort.
5. Download Bots
The Download Bots are computer programs that automatically download any software or smartphone apps for consumers. The bots are used to exaggerate download counts. These bots assist new apps in acquiring popularity by getting downloads from popular app shops. The bots are also used to create many fake downloads as part of the DoS attack.
6. Ticketing Bots
Tickets for much-awaited events are purchased by the bots, who have been instructed to do so. Ticket resale is the goal, with a profit margin added in. The bots act like real people who buy tickets, mimicking human behaviour. According to a study, automated bots purchase between 40% and 95% of all tickets. Some nations consider this type of ticket purchase to be unlawful, even if it is not against the law.
7. Malevolent and Non Malevolent Bot Activity
Humans teach machines particular jobs. Planned behavior can be detrimental or not. Hackers can acquire data by using a malicious application called a bot. If a malicious bot is set up to do so, viruses can infect hosts and steal data. Cybercriminals might use the data for DDOS attacks and spamming.
Malicious bots try to connect to the central database and infect the victim. Once connected, the server controls the target’s PC. The following duties are assigned to malevolent bots:
- DDoS (denial-of-service) assault
- Inventory Denial-of-Service Attacks
- Scraping Bots
- Attacks on Credential Filling
Websites should monitor unusual behaviour and take action to prevent infection by dangerous bots. Monitoring bot traffic can help identify malicious bots. Google Analytics can detect bot traffic.
Non-malicious excellent bots or repetitive activity bots can improve efficiency. They save time and effort by minimizing physical labour. Here are two good starter bots:
Chatbots include the SIRI and the Mobile Monkey. Thomas Cook’s AI chatbot, TeeCee, may be accessed on their website. Googlebot is a search engine bot.
An active free software interactive Twitch bot with a thriving community offers amusement and regulation for your channel, enabling you to focus on what is most important to you – your game and the viewers.
9. Crypto bots
Automated cryptocurrency trading is made possible using Crypto bots, a collection of programs meant to take care of the details for you. Market data may be gathered, interpreted, calculated to determine the market risk and bitcoin assets bought or sold. When it comes to cryptocurrency trading, using a bot may save you a lot of monetary and other resources.
Bots can be harmful or non-malevolent, depending on their goal of use. Cyberattackers decide the reason for which a bot is built. More followers on a social network account may be as easy as distributing malware. Now, bots are taking the place of people in many aspects of our everyday life. As a result, it’s helpful to be conscious of bots and the harm they may do.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.