Distil Networks, an Arlington-based cybersecurity start-up that has raised $44 million from venture capitalists since its founding in 2011, said Wednesday it is buying ScrapeSentry, a Swedish competitor.
Chief executive Rami Essaid wouldn’t disclose the size of the cash-and-stock deal, but said it was between $2 and $10 million.
“We definitely made a big bet, but it seemed like it made a lot of sense,” Essaid said.
Both start-ups make their money detecting “bots;” computer programs that perform simple tasks over and over again at superhuman speed. Hackers use such programs to continually probe the external walls of a company’s network for vulnerabilities. So-called “brute force attacks” can use bots to crack password encryption by rapidly guessing millions of keystroke combinations until one clicks into place. And websites that profit from click-hits will sometimes employ bots to falsely inflate web traffic, to the outrage of advertisers.