Bad bots steal private information with malicious intent. Read more to discover how bots with suspicious bad bot names can leak sensitive data.

Bad bots are automated software applications that conduct malicious tasks over the internet. These bots engage in criminal acts such as fraud or stealing sensitive information. MK12Bot, DotBots, and SEMrushBot are some of the popular bad bot names that undertake malicious activities daily.

Keep in mind that not all bots are bad. Good bots perform useful tasks such as automating customer support or exposing spam. As good bots share several characteristics with bad bots, it is important to learn the difference between the two and prevent yourself from the bot attack. In case you are wondering what is a bot attack, it’s a method of manipulating, defrauding or disrupting websites via the use of automated web requests.

Everything You Should Know About Bad Bots!

What is a Bad Bot?

Bad bots are automated programs that undertake malicious activities over the internet, such as stealing someone's private details or breaking into their account.

Some famous bad bot names include:

  • MJ12Bot
  • DotBot
  • SEMrushBot
  • MauiBot
  • AhrefsBot

You may want to remember these bad bot names and block them from taking up server resources.

Types of bad bots include credential stuffing bots, click fraud bots, content scraping bots, and spam bots.

Credential Stuffing Bots

Credential stuffing bots are used to steal sensitive information like username and password to make malicious login attempts into another unrelated service. Credential stuffing bots with malicious bad bot names can breach into user’s privacy and perform illegal activities disguised as a real user.

Click Bots

A click bot visits a website disguised as a real person and clicks on the ad or some hyperlink given on the website. These bad bots earn financial gains by clicking on the ad while giving the impression that a website's traffic is increasing.

Some organizations use click fraud bots to harm their competitor's advertisement budget by interacting with their pay-per-click ads through fake clicks. Therefore, click bot is one of the bad bot names you should beware of.

Content Scraping Bots

Content Scraping bots scrape away the entire content from the website in a few seconds. These bad bots maliciously intend to copy the original website's content for SEO purposes or steal the organic traffic. Also, content scraping bots are one of those terrifying bad bot names that get access to additional content on the website by filling out forms and fulfilling HTTP requests. The bad bots consume valuable server resources that legitimate users could otherwise use.

Spam Bot

Spam bots are one of the most common forms of bad bots. The spam bots send messages to people or publish posts on social media platforms. A typical spam message contains an unwelcome advert or links that usually leads to malware downloads. Spam bots pretend as real users, but one can look for suspicious-looking bad bot names to steer clear of their malicious intent.

What is a Good Bot?

What is a Good Bot?

Having discussed bad bots with various bad bot names, let's talk about the helpful, good bots. A good bot performs useful tasks that don’t harm the user experience on the internet. A good bot indexes content on the website and enhance search engine performance. Organizations widely use these bots to automate various tasks to save time.

Copyright Bots

Copyrighted bots crawl websites and search for content that may breach copyright law. A person or organization who owns the copyrighted material can control these kinds of good bots. The copyright bots keep a keen eye on copied content, including images, audio, text, and videos.

Commercial Bots

Firms employ commercial bots to crawl information related to their business. Commercial bots look for information such as customer reviews and news reports. These good bots hold no malicious intent and run automated tasks to reduce the company’s workload.

Search Engine Bots

Big search engines like Google and Bing use these bots to crawl websites and index content to make relevant search terms appear in the search engine results.

Feed Bots

Feed bots are mostly operated by social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to crawl the internet for interesting and trendy content. This real-time data then makes it to the platform’s news feed.

How to Detect a Bot?

How to Detect a Bot?

Detecting a bad bot is important to block it from stealing your valuable information. Some ways to detect bots include:

  • Look for abnormal spikes in web traffic and pageviews. Bots may try to consume your server resources and cause an abnormal spike in fake pageviews.
  • Look for an abnormally fast bounce rate. Bots may visit your website with a purpose and leaves it in milliseconds if it fails to achieve its goal.
  • An unusual increase in activity on your website may indicate a bot attack from remote locations.
  • An increase in junk form submissions indicates that your website is bombarded by bots pretending to be real users.

What are Bad Bot Attacks?

Do you wonder what is a bot attack? A bot attack involves bots with malicious intent attacking websites to steal users' private information or leak sensitive data.

Credential Stuffing Attack

A Credential Stuffing attack involves stealing users’ login credentials that can be used to log in to their accounts successfully.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud involves hacking people's credit card numbers via bots. The credit card number can be accessed via the dark web or by inserting a device into a card swiper that reads the private information on the card.

Content Scraping Attack

A content scraping attack will extract valuable data from your website, such as underlying HTML code or sensitive information stored in a database.

Doing further research online to find out what is a bot attack can reveal interesting information about these apparently innocent bots present on the internet.

How to Block Bots?

Bots can be blocked in the following ways:

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication requires users to verify the login attempt by providing at least two verification factors. This kind of authentication provides multiple layers of protection against bots.

Keep Record of Failed Login Attempts

Turn on notifications for failed login attempts, so you're ready to take action when a bot attack occurs.

Monitor Abnormal Spike in Traffic

Bot attacks can lead to abnormal increases in fake web traffic. However, using tools such as Google Analytics can help you investigate traffic on your website.

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Bots can be good or bad depending on the goal they are used to achieving. Bad bots steal valuable data to fulfill malicious intent, while the good ones can be used to automate tasks in a company and save precious time. One should keep a keen eye on bots attacking his website and take necessary action when bots try to steal private information or overwhelm the servers.

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