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  1. What Is
July 8, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:42pm

What is a bot?

There are good bots and bad bots crawling the internet.

By Ellie Burns

An internet bot, often simply referred to as just a bot, is a software application that runs scripts, or automated tasks, over the internet. Bots run simple repetitive tasks quickly – much faster than a human – with web spidering the largest use of bots on the internet. Web spidering, also known as a web crawler, scans through the internet and usually indexes pages for search engines.

Bots are often used in situations which require simple repetition – for example, chat bots may be used to mimic conversation and take part in a simple question and answer exchange.



Users may not know they are chatting with a bot and many communicate with users over instant messaging, Internet Relay Chat, Facebpook bots or Twitterbots. These bots have the capacity to do a number of things, from reporting football scores to converting currency.

Bots are also used by hackers to launch automated attacks on networked computers, as well as being used for click fraud and spamming. Like legitimate bots, there are many kinds of malicious bots. Spambots, botnets, DDoS attacks and worms are all a type of bot. Some bots can even be used to buy up huge amounts of concert tickets for resellers to sell at an inflated rate.


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