BotOrNot

Visit the BotOrNot detection page!

I am currently putting a lot of effort into researching how to distinguish web based bots from real human beings.

We are approaching an age where (certain) captchas can be solved better by AI than by real humans.

Creating advanced bots is a multidimensional problem.

In order to not be detected, there are several areas where an advanced bot attempts to behave as closely as possible like a human:

  • The browsing fingerprint of a bot needs to be stable and as generic as possible.
  • Advanced bots need to route their traffic through a residential or mobile proxy network. The toughest bot creators among us create their own mobile proxy farm.
  • Advanced bots are often based on puppeteer or playwright. Those web automation frameworks are configured slightly different then ordinary browsers. Advanced bots try to fix those artifacts.
  • Behavior based detection. Humans behave like a chaotic system. Some humans more than others. But that is not the point I am trying to make here. Humans move their mouse, keyboard, and scrolling wheel like humans. Bots do not. Advanced bots try to do that though!

I have many funny ideas.

For example, some folks are running their puppeteer bots in AWS infrastructure (or other cloud infra). AWS infrastructure often has certain ports open. A fingerprint of open ports can be obtained. Port scanning is possible with JavaScript in browsers. Therefore, a website could port scan the local network of your bot and if it looks like an AWS host, ban you (of course only if you exhibit other bot heuristics...)

cat and mouse bot game
Bonus Gif: The cat & mouse game between bots and anti-bot companies is not always that harmonic