Internet bots attacks are currently widely used not only by malicious competitors, but also by various hacker groups. In the course of such fraudulent actions, sites can become infected with viruses, and nasty webmasters can even gain access to administrative panels. DDoS attacks are most common. Their main goal is to disrupt the operation due […]
How to repel the attacks of bots: action guide
Internet bots attacks are currently widely used not only by malicious competitors, but also by various hacker groups. In the course of such fraudulent actions, sites can become infected with viruses, and nasty webmasters can even gain access to administrative panels. DDoS attacks are most common. Their main goal is to disrupt the operation due to multiple robotic requests.
The main thing is that not only the brand owners are affected by this, but also the clients. Fraud webmasters can gain access to the user database, which leads to major breaches. Such incidents cause great damage to the company’s reputation. Therefore, it is important to know the main ways to deal with such seemingly harmless bots, which can later be very dangerous. It is essential to remember that not only large business, but also small firms and establishments can be endured from automated requests.
How it works?
Web bots (aka as crawlers and spiders) are specialized Internet software based on artificial intelligence that hackers launch on websites in order to perform certain actions. Although, most of these attributes have simple settings and do not include well-thought algorithms.
Commercial bots can help to develop the brand, make a connection between the company and its clients. But when there are a lot of bots, they can literally destroy everything. For example, under the mask of real users, robots can attack servers and send a flurry of negative comments to the official brand page. This is much faster and more efficient than paying people for this work.
«Bad» bots are commonly called fraud bots. Most of these tools are capable of:
- Scanning a web page for vulnerabilities.
- Hack SQL and steal customer accounts (along with passwords and bank card numbers).
- Conduct automatic phishing.
- Initiate spam mailing.
- Create new accounts (for subsequent fraudulent transactions).
Pay attention! Even if the bot attack didn’t cause significant harm, it may mean that the hacking attempt was only the first step, which may lead to a complete collapse of the system. That’s why even minor incidents cannot be ignored.
How to suspect something is wrong?
There are basic signs by which you can suspect a bot attack before it is detected by an automated threat protection system.
Fraudulent activity is indicated by increased advertising costs in the absence of an increase in productive actions on the part of the client. Some bots can fill out forms using the single information (phone number, mail, etc.). Sometimes bots provide false information, for example, specifying a stationary phone instead of a mobile one.
On a note! Some clients do not want to leave real data so that the information is not compromised. Therefore, the system may confuse the robot with a real user.
So many requests from the same provider or IP should also be alerted. It is worth analyzing the entered data: there may be addresses or phone numbers that are listed in the databases of fraudulent contacts.
Basic tactics of protection against bot attacks
To prevent and reduce the negative impact of bots on your network, there are several aspects that must be taken into account when developing a security system.
- It is necessary to regularly check the system for threats.
- Be able to stop a hacker attack in time.
On a note! It is necessary to distinguish bots from consumers. Artificial intelligence, of course, can masterfully disguise itself as a human, but still cannot completely replace it. For example, fraud bots in comments are often intrusive, and their vocabulary is uncharacteristic for the speech of the ordinary person.
Webmasters use several useful tools.
1) CAPTCHA (or Turing test). When logging into the site, the user is asked to solve a small puzzle. For example, the system may offer a visitor to mark pictures introduced by a task, or get right a math question. Such tasks should not be too simple so that bots can solve them very quickly. You also shouldn’t make them very complicated either – real people may find it difficult to solve them. This check allows you to successfully test the incoming traffic.
Pay attention! Some cybercriminals can organize CAPTCHA farms when people recognize symbolic requests for a reward.
2) Hack fingerprints analysis. In this case, it is necessary to scan most of the user requests and identify among them those who belong to cybercriminals. You can find out malicious visitors by IP, by the device that the process is being performed on (usually these are emulators). It is worth paying attention to the use of open-source browsers, as they can be easily modified. This method is quite effective, but it is applicable only to already known threats that are in the database.
Be careful! Some cybercriminals can remove robot signatures, so such systems may look reliable. The methods of scammers are being improved, so be aware of the latest threats to computer and business security.
3) You can fight crawlers using their own methods – using algorithms and artificial intelligence. Specialized programs can detect fraud requests, focusing on the nature of actions. In the case of an attack, the number of requests increases, while web pages are practically not scrolled at all.
It’s not enough to block all these threats – you also need to find a solution for them, since over time, attacks can be more serious. Running away from problems is not equal to solving them. This tactic implies the use of specialized software (ready-made, custom-made, or done independently), which allows regular monitoring and replenishment of the database with malicious algorithms.
If you leave everything as it is, angry customers can submit a complaint against your business, or even start legal proceedings. Therefore, threats should not be ignored. Notice them in time and turn to qualified specialists to eliminate attacks. Perhaps your experience will help other honest companies, as it is necessary to unite to fight cybercrime.