The IT Law Wiki


A bot (short for robot) is:

  1. "an automated online account where all or substantially all of the actions or posts of that account are not the result of a person."[1]
  2. "a computing system tasked with performing a specific Internet function in an automated fashion.[2]
  3. "an individual computer infected with malicious code that participates in a botnet and carries out the commands of the botnet controller."[3]
  4. "a generic term for a program that performs any function automatically."[4]
  5. "programs that are covertly installed on a targeted system allowing an unauthorized user to remotely control the compromised computer for a variety of malicious purposes."[5]
  6. a program that is installed on a system in order to enable that system to automatically (or semi-automatically) perform a task or set of tasks typically under the command and control of a remote administrator (often referred to as a "bot master" or "bot herder.").[6]
  7. an application that performs automated tasks such as retrieving and analyzing information.[7]
  8. a software robot.


"Not all bots are malicious in nature; there are bots that perform legal and useful tasks such as Web indexing, data collection, competitive research, and promotional activities on social networking Web sites. For attackers, the benefits provided by bots include the ability for bots to perform malicious tasks repeatedly, quickly, and in an automated manner enabling attackers to control these systems en masse and to great effect."[8]


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