Netacea’s Top Five Scalper Bots Quarterly Index covers April to June 2021 and shows a mix of technology and fashion as the most frequently targeting items by scalper bots.
The top five items targeted by scalper bots in Q2 2021 were:
- Air Jordan Retro 1 High OG sneakers: These popular shoes can sell for more than seven times their original price of $110.
- PlayStation 5: One botnet of 300 compromised machines made one million purchase attempts of PS5s in just six hours.
- Gaming graphic cards (especially the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series): Driven by many factors, including the success of streaming sites like Twitch and a highly anticipated product line.
- Yeezy Boost 700 MNVN sneakers: Despite limited numbers dropped every hour on Yeezy Day, most fans were left disappointed thanks to scalper bots.
- Cryptomining graphics cards: Crypto hype has meant gamers were struggling to buy cards even without scalper bots getting in the way.
Scalper bots, also known as sneaker bots or grinch bots, target merchandise in high demand or limited supply and snap it up faster than human users. The merchandise is then sold for a profit. Increasingly, these bots are easily available to the public and not just to experienced hackers with access to the dark web.
While scalper bots are not new and were once a niche concern, mostly to the ticket industry, they have been under growing scrutiny during the last 18 months as they target more popular consumer goods. The limited stock following the release of the PlayStation 5, for example, shows that no retail product is safe from scalper bots.
“It’s an especially difficult time for retailers. In addition to supply chain issues adding to the challenges of the last two years, they increasingly face the risk of bots buying their most popular items before their customers—a trend that negatively impacts prices and a brand’s reputation,” said Andy Still, CTO at Netacea. “Our ongoing research into how businesses can better protect themselves from bot activity also gives us deep insight into what’s happening across many retail sectors. We are pleased to be able to share our findings with this first-of-its-kind index and hope that the information it provides will help retailers understand if they are likely to be a target.”
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