Examples of Malicious Web Scraping
Read about the best examples of malicious web scraping.
Large volumes of data are often extracted from websites via web scraping for a number of purposes, including price monitoring, enhancing machine learning models, financial data aggregation, consumer sentiment tracking, news tracking, etc. A website's data is shown by browsers. However, it can be exceedingly tiresome and time-consuming to manually transfer data from several sources for retrieval in a single location. This laborious procedure is effectively automated by web scraping software.
Examples of Malicious Web Scraping
Web scraping has a lot of useful applications, but like with many technologies, cybercriminals have also discovered ways to misuse it. Malicious online scraping occasionally may not violate a clear line of the law, but it can still be dangerous to your company.
Web scrapers are effective tools for information collecting, but occasionally people or businesses may misuse the power that comes with the knowledge obtained. Understanding the risks in the market can protect you from dangerous scrapers and provide you insight into how your competitors can use web scraping to their advantage.
With price scraping, a person may utilise a botnet to send out bots that scour the competitor's databases. They might be able to learn more about their rates through this method. The final client can then increase their sales by undercutting rivals using this knowledge.
Attacks of this nature are frequent in industries with businesses that sell comparable goods. For instance, it might be simple to discover the same brand, model, and year on many websites if someone is seeking a new laptop. One of them might price their laptops slightly below those of the competitors if they employed a web scraper, giving the buyer a better value and accelerating sales.
Price scraping can assist a criminal get an advantage by raising the ranking of their goods on websites that compare comparable goods. The firm's items will start appearing at the top of the page if the site arranges things by price from low to high and the business has undercut the competitors after collecting pricing data. Customers are far more likely to click on them as a result.
A burglar targets the information on a website or database through content scraping and then takes it. The information may then be applied in several contexts. The thief can create a phony website with exactly the same content as the intended target website. Due to how closely the websites resemble one another, it may be challenging for a victim of identity theft to tell one from the other.
The targeted person can visit the bad site and submit personal information, such as credit card information or a secret login if the thief creates the phony site and then delivers a phishing email with a link to the fake website. This can then be used by the criminal to access their financial accounts or save for a later, more extensive identity theft.
For businesses that spend a lot of time and money producing content that offers them an advantage over the competition, content scraping is especially risky. Marketing materials, pictures, articles, and pricing lists are a few examples of this. The reputation of the business whose material was scraped may be harmed if a web scraper steals the content and uses it to launch a spamming campaign.
Scraper Tools and Bots
Hackers occasionally obtain more specific information about the victim using scraper tools and bots. A database that contains data crucial to the user experience and the company's business model may be one of the many parts of the application that drives a website. Using a web scraper bot, the hacker may extract particular data from the database and utilise it for their own purposes.
For instance, a vehicle rental firm may pay a hacker to introduce a bot to the website of a rival. The bot may pose as a person trying to hire a car at a certain location. The bot may then change settings to scrape all the different price points while entering different inputs to acquire a complete understanding of the site's pricing structure.
The bot, for instance, can select an economy automobile and provide the pricing. Then, it may select a tiny automobile, an intermediate car, a standard car, a full-size car, and so forth, obtaining price information along the way from the site's database. The usage of a scraper tool of this type may also be used to hunt for offers that are triggered by certain circumstances. In the case of renting a car, this may involve specifics like the duration of the rental, the location, and more.