Today’s bots offer highly specialized use cases that automate even the most complex tasks. We’ve highlighted some of the most common types below, but it’s important to note that while we are categorizing bots as legitimate or malicious, a number of those referenced can be used to accomplish legitimate or malicious goals depending on their implementation.
Procurement bots, also known as purchasing bots (and Grinchbots during the holidays), are software applications or automated systems designed to assist in the procurement process of goods and services. These bots are programmed to perform various tasks related to sourcing, purchasing, and managing procurement activities.
Search engine crawler bots, also known as web crawlers or spiders, are automated software programs used by search engines to discover, crawl, and index web pages on the internet. These bots systematically traverse the web, following links from one webpage to another, and collecting information about the content and structure of websites to help serve relevant search results.
Bots designed to interact with customers, answer frequently asked questions, provide support, and assist with basic troubleshooting. They enhance customer service efficiency and provide timely responses.
Bots used for social media management automate tasks such as posting updates, scheduling content, monitoring mentions or hashtags, and providing basic customer engagement.
Bots that aggregate and curate content from various sources to help users discover relevant articles, news, or multimedia content in a centralized manner. These bots assist in information gathering and save users' time in searching for content.
Bots like scheduling assistants or task management bots can help users manage their calendars, set reminders, organize to-do lists, and automate routine tasks, boosting personal productivity.
Bots that provide instant language translation services can facilitate communication between individuals who speak different languages, helping bridge language barriers and fostering global connectivity.
Bots that deliver personalized news updates tailored to users' interests to keep users informed about current events and topics of their choice.
Bots designed to assist in learning and education, such as language tutors or subject-specific bots, provide interactive learning experiences and offer personalized guidance.
Bots that help users manage their finances, track expenses, provide investment advice, or offer personalized budgeting recommendations assist individuals in making informed financial decisions.
Monitoring bots, also known as monitoring agents or monitoring software, are automated programs designed to monitor and track various aspects of systems, networks, applications, or online platforms. These bots continuously collect data, analyze performance metrics, and provide insights to ensure the smooth operation and optimal performance of the monitored entities.
Bots designed to scrape and extract content from websites without permission or proper attribution. These bots often act in contrast to an application’s robot.txt file. They are used to steal valuable data, such as product information, pricing details, or copyrighted content, for unauthorized use.
Bots that automate the process of using stolen login credentials to gain unauthorized access to user accounts on various platforms. They often employ credential-stuffing techniques in an effort to exploit weak, reused, or compromised passwords to gain access to user accounts.
Bots that flood websites, forums, comment sections, or social media platforms with unsolicited and often malicious or promotional content. They aim to deceive users or promote malicious links, products, or services.
Bots that simulate clicks on online advertisements with the intention of artificially inflating ad revenue or sabotaging competitors' advertising campaigns. They waste advertisers' budgets and undermine the integrity of online advertising systems.
Bots used in coordinated attacks to overwhelm websites or online services with an enormous volume of traffic, rendering them inaccessible to legitimate users. These bots disrupt online services and extort organizations through volumetric attacks often enabled by botnets.
Bots that distribute malware, such as viruses, worms, ransomware, or spyware, to infect users' devices, steal sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to systems. These bots can infect devices for use in Botnets.
Bots created to mimic human behavior on social media platforms, are often used for fake engagement, fake followers, spreading misinformation, or manipulating public opinion.