Date: Thursday, December 30, 2021
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Grinch bots are putting some grift into gifts.
So-called Grinch bots, which snatch high-demand items to resell at higher prices, had a field day this holiday season. Bad bot activity grew nearly 73% in November from October, according to Imperva Research Labs, a cybersecurity company.
Grinch bots attract the most attention during the holiday shopping period, but they operate year-round, and the continuing supply-chain-related product shortages and high online-sales traffic are creating a perfect storm.
Gift cards, which were especially popular this year, are another favorite for bots. Kasada, another cybersecurity company, said automated online gift-card-lookup attempts have surged during this year’s holiday shopping period. Those looking to gift a piece of digital art might have also been scalped by bots, which, of course, are active in the nonfungible tokens market.
Bots are drawing enough ire that lawmakers reintroduced a bill last month to curb their activity. Meanwhile, some savvy shoppers are choosing to just play the game, with some paying $99 a month just to make sure a shopping bot can nab that PlayStation 5 in time.
If you can’t beat them, join them.