Good Bots, Bad Bots, and Humans. Can You Tell Who Is Who?

January 5, 2017

A bot is a software application that automates repetitive tasks via scripts over the Internet at a higher rate than would be possible for a human to perform manually. (Wikipedia)

Bots can do pretty much anything that can be scripted; some good for the business, others not so much. Keep in mind, like most tools we have available to us as humans, their use for good vs. bad is up to the user. Nonetheless, here are a few examples:

Good bots

  1. Chat bots for automated customer service
  2. Vulnerability assessment scanners to find exploitable weaknesses when used by internally-known penetration testers or consultants
  3. Marketing search engine optimization and performance analysis

Malicious, or otherwise dangerous, bots can

  1. Alter site statistics
  2. Exfiltrate sensitive business or customer information
  3. Automate the theft of funds from bank accounts
  4. Vulnerability assessment scanners to find exploitable weaknesses when used by malicious outsiders

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