Here's How Bots Scam Advertisers By Pretending to Be Human

They Move Around Like Real People, and Click Too

By Published on .

So much for bots giving themselves away by acting like, well, bots. Turns out they can be made to act quite human, which is foiling efforts to detect them.

Scammers sending fake traffic to websites can make their bots move around web pages exactly as humans would -- with mouse movements, clicks and all -- causing problems for anti-fraud software working to ferret out malicious traffic.

In the video below, ad fraud researcher and technical forensics expert Dr. Augustine Fou demonstrates how these scammers work their craft, narrating a simulation of a real bot script he ran on top of a dummy version of The New York Times' homepage. While these bots are not actually hitting the Times' website, they could easily be sent there.

Dr. Fou said he created the demo to combat assumptions that human mouse movement can not be mimicked by bots.

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