Do you try to buy the latest Jordans or Yeezys whenever they come on sale, only to be left disappointed because they sell out so quickly?
Perhaps you have been trying to get a PlayStation 5 for over a year now but you can never get your hands on one?
It can end up being incredibly frustrating. Why does everyone seem to be faster than you?
Well, the truth is that you’re not on a level playing field. It’s not humans that are beating you to the purchase. Most of the time, it’s a scalper bot.
And, the make matters even more complicated, there are many different types of bots that are being used by scalpers today. So, with that being said, on this page, we are going to explore the different types of scalper bots in further detail.
What is a scalper bot?
A scalper bot (or scalping bot) is an automated tool that will purchase services and products in bulk. These rapid tools can complete a checkout process at lightning pace – much quicker than any human would be able to do. This makes it incredibly difficult for any customer to get their hands on a limited product.
How scalper bots work
A scalper will use an automated tool – bot – to automatically complete purchases online. This means that they can complete the checkout way quicker than any human user would be able to.
For this to be achieved, bots will monitor target websites, automatically checking it to find early links and interesting releases.
A lot of bot developers and scalpers will use Discord to communicate, licensing their bots for other individuals and running cook groups, which are essentially online communities. Typically, a user will pay a monthly fee for information and tips, and they will also get an instant notification whenever a product is available.
Not only does this cause problems when items become available for sale but the continual monitoring can generate considerable traffic volume, which can hurt your site’s performance and speed.
When an item does become available, a bot is able to make numerous purchases without detection or being blocked. Access controls and security methods will need to be bypassed, such as CAPTCHA, which is simply not efficient anymore.
Scalpers will usually rely on proxy networks, which means that every new request is going to come from an entirely different IP address.
Next, the checkout process will be completed automatically. Multiple orders will be generated, meaning there is no stock left for genuine human buyers.
What are the different types of scalper bots?
There are many different types of scalper bots that can be used to automate purchases. Let’s take a look at some of the main kinds below.
Grinch bots are designed to buy large amounts of hot ticket items during the holiday period, reselling them at much higher prices. For parents who have children who have their hearts set on products for Christmas, Grinch bots can be incredibly frustrating.
Grinch bots typically first make their presence felt around Black Friday, which is when the best deals and discounts start flying around before Christmas. Exclusive products are always the first to go, with Grinch bots cutting the virtual line and checking out before anyone else is able to get their hands on the products in question.
Account creation bots
Account creation bots have recently been adopted by bot operators for the purpose of tackling the increase in websites selling limited availability merchandise via lottery and raffle systems.
Account creation bots can create thousands of accounts on a daily basis by making the sign-up process automated and by using proxies to complete registrations from a number of geographic locations and IP addresses.
The purpose of this type of bot is to put the odds in your favor when it comes to any sort of lottery or raffle event.
Bots as a service
Rather than purchasing a bot, some people will simply rent one. With this approach, they simply wait for a product to drop, and then they generate tasks for the items they wish to purchase. In fact, the entire process can be automated.
Next, we have spinner bots, which tend to be custom-built by those responsible for their creation. A spinner bot works like a traditional bot in the sense that all processes are automated. However, this is only up to the point of the items being in the cart. At this stage, the spinner bot will hold the merchandise and start to market the stock on another website.
Monitor bots will scan websites, looking for any information to determine when products are going to be made available for sale. An alert is set, and information is fed from the scanner into a range of bots, including AIO bots, which we will discuss in the next section.
AIO stands for All In One. As the name indicates, these bots work across various websites and bulk checkouts. They are able to pass CAPTCHAs and log-in checks. If there is a successful checkout, they use Discord to inform others of this.
To put the effectiveness of AIO bots into context, they can find new inventory, add it to the shopping cart, and complete the checkout process, all within fewer than 0.2 seconds. A human shopper simply would never be able to compete with this.
Aside from making an automated purchase, AIO bots are also able to keep up to date with any shopping cart procedure update so that they can work around the conventional bot detection and mitigation solutions being used today.
These bots don’t stop; they work every minute of the day, shopping around the world to score merchandise that is in demand.
There are so many different types of AIO bots as well, ranging from Torpedo AIO and Prism AIO to location-specific AIO bots, including EU-focused Burst AIO, and much, much more.
Footprinting bots are a subset of Monitor bots. These sort of bots will probe for online inventory that may not be released to the public yet, meaning they score stock that a human simply would never be able to find.
We know that sneakers are highly prized items these days, especially rare Yeezy and Jordan trainers, which are only available in limited quantities. As a consequence, sneaker bot software has been designed for monitoring stock releases and to automatically complete the checkout process. This means that scalpers can get their hands on limited stock while genuine humans feel like they need to win the lottery in order to purchase a new pair of sneakers.
Chrome extensions are very easy to use and install. In fact, some are available free of charge. They do provide a gateway into botting, yet they are limited in terms of the number of websites that can be accessed and the inventory you can cop.
Specialized bots have been optimized for a specific type of product, be it a games console, event ticket, or pair of sneakers. These bots will adapt to the ever-changing anti-bot detection methods, adapting their approach accordingly.
Some specialized bots are optimized for a single brand, rather than just a single product category. For example, Adidas, Supreme, and Nike Bots are all popular in the sneaker world.
Just like AIO bots, these specialized bots will continually update their approach, working around the detection methods in place.
You also have specialized bots that have been created to work with certain ecommerce platforms, for example, Shopify or Demandware.
Why CAPTCHA is no match for these types of scalper bots
Today’s scalper bots are advanced, and they are getting more and more sophisticated all of the time. Because of this, you need to use modern solutions to protect your brand. Gone are the days of simply adding a CAPTCHA challenge to your website. CAPTCHA is ineffective and it is incredibly damaging to the user experience.
We are sure you have come across a lot of CAPTCHA challenges yourself. You are presented with a picture that is split into several boxes, and you need to select the boxes that feature a car, boat, or traffic lights, for example.
A lot of websites rely on these sorts of challenges to keep bad bot traffic at bay. However, it’s not that simple. In fact, the chances of CAPTCHA protecting your website are very small.
This is because there are a lot of different CAPTCHA-solving solutions on the market today, automating the process. This means that bad bots can use technology to quickly and efficiently solve CAPTCHA puzzles, meaning they are not slowed down or prevented from making a purchase at all.
Not only are CAPTCHAs ineffective but they cause a huge amount of customer frustration. There is nothing worse than attempting to buy some concert tickets, getting through to the checkout page, and then being met with one of these annoying challenges, which takes too much time and ruins your chance of getting those concert tickets altogether.
In a lot of cases, CAPTCHA will end up negatively impacting your genuine customers more than the bad bots on your website. This is why you need a solution that makes the bot do the work, rather than the human user, and that is what Kasada is all about.
Stopping all types of bots with Kasada
As you can see, there are many different types of bots, which is why you need an advanced and proven bot detection and mitigation solution. Luckily, this is exactly what you have with Kasada.
There are three main elements of our approach, threat intelligence, client interrogation, and mitigative actions. So, let’s look at each:
Our client inspection process is invisible to humans, meaning your user experience will not be hindered. Instead, we work in the background, looking for automation frameworks and headless browsers.
Our sensors are obfuscated with our own polymorphic method, ensuring reverse engineering attempts are deterred. Inference will decipher whether a request has come from a bad bot, a good bot, or a human, without needing to let any of the requests in, as is the case with today’s outdated legacy systems.
Rather than forcing the user to do all of the work, we make the bot do all of the hard work. We do this with cryptographic challenges, customizable responses, and fighting automation with automation.
Our approach will exhaust computer resources, making it too costly to hack into your system. This not only prevents attacks now but in the future as well. Threat actors will know that it is simply not worth targeting your business.
We will conduct a deep analysis of traffic patterns and adversarial techniques via assessing all sensor and request data.
Whatever we learn from our data is added to the client inspection procedure in real-time, without code upgrades being required. This enables instantaneous and continuous feedback and updates.
Final words on the different types of scalper bots
We hope that this guide has helped you to get a better understanding of the different types of scalper bots. As you can see, there are a number of different types of scalper bots used today, which you will need to protect your site from. To find out whether your site is able to successfully detect and prevent bad bots, run our free assessment today and receive instant results.
If you have any queries about scalper bots and the different types of bots being used today, please do not hesitate to get in touch and leave a question with our team. We would be more than happy to help you in any manner we can.