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Bot Landscape: Attack on E-commerce

Maybe you’ve noticed the last several months that bots are crawling around the news. No pun intended. It actually seems that all the predictions about these pesky pieces of software are gradually coming true and it’s finally catching the public’s attention.

We’re pleased to present you with our latest digest of the most interesting and relative content related to bots and their growing presence. We’ve grouped them into three topics that seem to be the most featured in the media today: scalping, pandemic, and public policy.

Scalping Bots

Since last December, there has been a huge wave of publications about the threat posed by bad bots to e-commerce and consumers. Here are our top picks:

Good Luck Finding a PlayStation 5 

Nearly everyone knows someone who missed out on the opportunity to buy the coolest new gaming console during the 2020 holiday shopping season. Reuters has published an article that perfectly illustrates the main “bot” problem from last December.

Check out the article here: Reuters

Bot Armies for Hot Kicks Releases

Sneaker bots are scooping up the newest Yeezy “Ash Blue” and “Quantum” shoes to resell at a huge markup. Since when is it normal to pay absurd prices for already high-value items? Shoppers deserve fairness when it comes to spending their hard-earned cash. Retailers too, they’re on the short end of this problem.

Read more at Threatpost

The Rise of Bots as a Service

It used to be that a person was required to have some technical knowledge and programming skills to create and operate a bot. Nowadays, all a person needs is a bank account, meaning that virtually anyone can rent or buy a bot to do their bidding. Needless to say, this shift is opening up a huge can of worms. Bernard Brode reflects on the development of technologies directly related to these events: The rise of Bots as a Service and the danger this poses to e-commerce.

Check out the article here: RTInsights

What’s on the other side?

You know the old saying “Adapt, or die.”? Well, that hit really close to home for a lot of retailers last year. On the other side of the fence, online retailers are training their own armies of bots. Pretty soon, it seems, most online deals will be made by bots amongst themselves!

Read more at NBC News

Bad Bots and The Pandemic

Bad Bots are on the Attack

Bad bot traffic growth and the pandemic are directly related according to Google. “Google’s research has found that while 78% of organizations are using DDoS protection… less than a fifth of them are using a ‘full bot management system’”. It’s time to take a good look at how protected your assets really are.

Check out the article here: ZDNet

Direct and Immediate Threat

Although the mere thought may rattle your brain, some security experts warn about the threat of bot attacks on COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Unfortunately this is something we need to come to grips with: There are mal-intent actors out in the world trying to stunt progress, even when it comes to saving lives.

Read more at Fox59

Vaccination appointments: First in, first out

Hundreds of vaccination appointments in MA were taken by people using “bots” to secure their place in line, and pushing out the less tech savvy, more at-risk part of the population in that county. Someone has to pick up the slack. Should the state be held accountable?

Check out the article here: The Berkshire Eagle

Bots and Public Policy

Should Scalping Be Illegal?

The answer seems like a no-brainer, but not so fast! There’s a fine line that is being crossed consistently, and the gaming community is fed up with non-action on the part of lawmakers and distributors. A frustrated gamer talks about the legal side of the issue.

Read more at Keengamer

UK Lawmakers Taking Practical Steps

In the UK, Members of Parliament have only recently started seeking a prohibition of “the resale at prices greatly above Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price”. But what about everywhere else? It seems the ball is slowly being set into motion, but no one really wants to take full responsibility, nor the manufacturers, nor the retailers, nor governments. Is there anyone on the consumer’s side?

Check out the article here: Techrepublic

Most of the recent stats are still being processed by both retailers and cyber sec companies. The next couple of months promise to bring a lot of data for analysis, which will allow us to more accurately assess the overall picture. We’ll get back to you soon with new posts – Stay tuned!