How To Detect Sneaker Bots With Bot Detection?

Prevent sneaker bots and abusive bot traffic from crawling your website. Detect bots that scrape content or engage in abuse like shopping cart attacks.

What Is Sneaker Bot Traffic?

Bots are wreaking havoc every day on eCommerce businesses and merchants. Sneaker bots are no exception, and they can cause a range of issues such as as "Cart Abandonment" and even completing purchases with fraudulent credit cards. Cart abandonment is mainly done to fill shopping carts with merchandise and then abandon the checkout process, causing the retailer to temporarily reserve the inventory and prevent legitimate customers from making a successful purchase.

Detect Sneaker Bots

Preventing bots from crawling your website is the best way to protect your company from malicious sneaker bots. eCommerce firms that lack effective anti-bot security solutions are particularly susceptible during the holiday shopping season. Bot protection can automatically filter abusive requests and high risk bot traffic from interacting with your website or app.

Why are Sneaker Bots Bad for Websites?

Sneaker bots attempt to evade bot detection solutions so they can access a website without any restrictions. These malicious bots hold merchandise in online shopping carts without checking out, an OWASP automated attack known as denial of inventory. It is usually done so that retailers appear to be sold out of an item. As a result, customers are forced to go to a reseller and spend 2-5x the retail price to get what they want.

Sneaker bots are becoming a primary concern for online businesses as the ecosystem matures. Bots accounted for at least 25% of traffic to eCommerce sites last year, but that number may reach 99 percent in some situations regarding new shoe releases and holiday shopping traffic.

While sneaker botting seems unethical, it is legal. At the same time, it may be considered an automated attack that frustrates both customers and retailers. As a result, bots often violate the terms of service of retailers and merchants.

Therefore, an eCommerce organization needs to detect sneaker bot traffic in real-time to protect both their customers and their brand. So, before any further ado, let's have a look at the types of sneaker bots:

Sneaker Bots/Scalpers/Copbots

To target many sites, operators install all-in-one bots that virtually automate the entire transaction. AIO bots, for example, can find new inventory, put it in the cart, and check out in less than 0.2 seconds. Real shoppers are just unable to compete. They can not only conduct automated purchases, but they can also stay up to date on changes to shopping cart operations to get around bot detection and mitigation measures. These bots work around the clock, searching the globe for sneakers and other in-demand items.

Bot Monitors

Monitors use bots to check sites for fresh releases and restock continually. Once the stock is discovered, the bots notify the user or group of users, who then purchase the stock.

Sneaks Notify, Debhaus, and Ghost Alerts are some common bots.

Add To Cart Bots/Services

Add to Shopping Cart Bots are controlled sneaker bots. However, the process is not entirely automated from start to finish. Instead, the consumer pays for their slot, and the supplier handles all aspects of their transaction.

Spinner Bots

Spinner Bots are the second version of sneaker bots, and their designers frequently create them. Like a sneaker bot, a spinner bot automates all operations until the sneakers are in the cart. However, at this point, these types of bot hold the items and start promoting the stock on a secondary site.

Only when the product is purchased on the secondary site does the bot purchase the merchandise from the original retailer, ensuring they make a handsome profit with minimum financial damage to themselves.

Account Creators

Sneaker bot operators have lately used account Creators to prevent the growth in sites offering limited availability items using raffle/lottery systems. These bots may establish 100s to 1000s of accounts per day by automating the sign-up process and using proxies to do registrations from various IP addresses and geographic areas, all to rig the odds in favor of the bot operator. Fraudsters are becoming even more sophisticated now by using malicious residential proxies, which are more difficult to detect as bots.

Wait, these are not limited to these types, but an Entire Ecosystem is also helping them.

For example, CAPTCHAs such as Google's reCAPTCHA, are easily solved by bots utilizing cheap farming services such as 2CAPTCHA; as a result, CAPTCHAs are ineffective at preventing bots. Bots can also impersonate actual customers by using proxy services that use residential IP addresses which appear as clean connections.

Bot operators disguise themselves as many consumers by employing a residential proxy service (therefore less likely to be blocked). However, bot operators use various additional techniques to make their requests appear as authentic as feasible. Luckily, companies like IPQS provide accurate proxy detection to identify compromised connections and tunneling. More obvious high risk connections can be identified with VPN detection.

Fraudsters have a lot of tools and services to help them create a bot ecosystem that allows sneaker botting to be so successful.

Now that you have identified the sneaker bots, it's time to explore the methods to prevent sneaker bots attacks.

While sneaker bots are very easy to employ, they are getting considerably more sophisticated and, as a result, increasingly challenging to detect and stop. Traditional bot mitigation techniques fall short because they rely on rules, heuristics, or risk assessment, which cannot see bots before they damage.

Because these techniques let bots in so that they can be identified; yet, bots may appear and act like real humans, allowing them to avoid detection.

A modern bot detection solution is required that prevents bots from entering an eCommerce company's infrastructure in the first place and makes it financially unviable for them to function.

Best Methods for Blocking Sneaker Bots

To begin, we feel that the optimal anti-bot strategy is architecturally based on zero trusts. This no-rules method may block bots without the need to analyze behavior or device and network attributes, including ones that have never been observed before. This strategy is best supported by third party services that detect bots such as a device fingerprinting solution.

Secondly, eliminating the economic incentive at the heart of the sneaker bot model stops them in their tracks effectively. This can be even be achieved through mobile apps such as iOS and Android with mobile device fingerprinting.

Thirdly, because bots are constantly updated, another method to retaliate is to make it impossible for bot operators to retool and reverse-engineer protection or even develop new bots that can avoid detection. And this process can be accomplished by utilizing commercial obfuscation techniques rather than open-source tools, such as polymorphic approaches that alter dynamically, aggravating operators.

Simply put, when it comes to automated technology, such as sneaker bots, the only way to combat them is through automated technology. All these techniques mentioned above together help beat bots at their own game.

Wrapping Up

Sneaker bots are intelligent enough to compete with enterprise-level businesses, and your company needs a strong bot prevention plan in place to fight back. Once identified through real-time traffic analysis, bot traffic can instantly be redirected to another site or shown an error message that mitigates any potential damage. Services like IPQS make it more difficult for bots to crawl websites while also allowing your site to detect sneaker bots in real-time.

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