Journal article Open Access
Iliou, Christos; Kostoulas, Theodoros; Tsikrika, Theodora; Katos, Vasilis; Vrochidis, Stefanos; Kompatsiaris, Ioannis
Web bots vary in sophistication based on their purpose, ranging from simple automated scripts to advanced web bots that have a browser fingerprint, support the main browser functionalities, and exhibit a humanlike behaviour. Advanced web bots are especially appealing to malicious web bot creators, due to their browser-like fingerprint and humanlike behaviour which reduce their detectability. This work proposes a web bot detection framework that comprises two detection modules: (i) a detection module that utilises web logs, and (ii) a detection module that leverages mouse movements. The framework combines the results of each module in a novel way to capture the different temporal characteristics of the web logs and the mouse movements, as well as the spatial characteristics of the mouse movements. We assess its effectiveness on web bots of two levels of evasiveness, (a) moderate web bots that have a browser fingerprint and (b) advanced web bots that have a browser fingerprint and also exhibit a humanlike behaviour. We show that combining web logs with visitors’ mouse movements is more effective and robust towards detecting advanced web bots that try to evade detection, as opposed to using only one of those approaches.