Content and Financial Data Scraping
Web scraper bots are deployed to automate the process of reading a site’s content and gathering its financial data. This activity is both beneficial and harmful to banks and financial institutions.
Banks and financial institutions benefit from scraper bots initiated by search engines, financial data aggregation sites, financial news sites and financial publications which employ these bots to automatically obtain and summarize content, provide financial data, charts, projections and technology updates to their site visitors and customers. This results in SEO rankings, site traffic, branding exposure and revenue opportunities.
Competitors also utilize web crawler bots to obtain comparison data. This makes it easy for rivals to steal customers by offering more attractive alternatives, undercutting special offers and garnering auxiliary sales that they would not otherwise make.
Hackers, on the other hand, deploy sophisticated scraping bots to lure customers to sites and applications for the purpose of stealing their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or payment information.
How Malicious Bot Attacks Work
Hackers will deploy generalized bots, which perform a scan of a website and online infrastructure looking for vulnerabilities they can penetrate. On the surface, these “crawler bots” appear harmless, behaving in a similar manner Googlebots. They simply crawl a site, page by page reviewing its content. This first stage, reconnaissance work, enables cybercriminals to automate their penetration testing in bulk. The resulting vulnerabilities are categorized and targeted through custom bots designed to penetrate the specific vulnerabilities.