Preventing Bot Attacks

Preventing bot attacks can save your business from damage to your website, systems, security, and reputation.

Businesses rely on software to run automated tasks, such as generating messages and following social media accounts. These automated tasks are performed by what are commonly known as “bots.” Some bots are a necessary foundational component of the Internet. For example, search engines use bots to crawl or search websites for their listings and rankings. Unfortunately, in the wrong hands, bots can be used to identify software vulnerabilities, mass spam, wreak havoc online, and attack websites or end users.

A bot attack uses automated web requests to manipulate, defraud, or disrupt a website, application, API, or end-users. Bot attacks have become elaborate, global enterprises with business plans and operational goals. It may sound like the subject of a dystopian science fiction film, but bot attacks are common and increasingly tenacious. Here’s what you can do to stop them.


How Bots Work

In automated bot attacks, hackers write scripts of code designed to evade detection by replicating normal system behavior. These scripts might vary how long an episode lasts or how frequently the bot accesses its target. There could be anywhere from one user to entire malicious organizations comprising multiple groups behind any bot attack. Here are some standard terms and tools of the trade used in bot attacks:


Botkits are dangerous and prevalent. Usually compiled of open-source developer tools, botkits allow anyone with basic hacking knowledge to create and deploy bots. These kits are traded for free or sold on the dark web. Employing the software as a service (SaaS) model, enterprising botkit makers offer services to execute bot attacks, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.


Connected devices working concurrently form a botnet. This group of malware-carrying machines allows a single hacker to use the botnet to launch coordinated attacks, including attacks to steal sensitive data or DDoS attacks.


How to Prevent Bot Attacks

Luckily, preventing, detecting, and mitigating bot attacks is possible. Practical approaches include static analysis tools that identify abnormal header information or web requests. Some definitive methods of protecting against bot attacks include:

  • Using Captcha on your websites, APIs, and applications.
  • Blocking known hosting and proxy services used by cybercriminals.
  • Sharing blocked information with exposed systems.
  • Monitoring traffic for bounce rate, retention time, and failed logins.
  • Performing rigorous cybersecurity assessments and network hardening.

Bot attacks of all kinds carry a high potential for damage to systems, security, and reputation, but we can fight back. Contact us today to learn more about Securance Consulting’s security testing services, including advanced persistent threat (APT) simulation testing, to help strengthen your systems against bot attacks and other cyber threats.