Automated threat

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An automated threat is a type of computer security threat to a computer network or web application, characterised by the malicious use of automated tools such as Internet bots.[1] Automated threats are popular on the internet as they can complete large amounts of repetitive tasks with almost no cost to execute.[2]

Threat ontology[edit]

The OWASP Automated Threat Handbook provides a threat ontology list for classifying automated threats, which are enumerated below.

Identity Code Name Defining characteristics
OAT-020 Account Aggregation Use by an intermediary application that collects together multiple accounts

and interacts on their behalf

OAT-019 Account Creation Create multiple accounts for subsequent misuse
OAT-003 Ad Fraud False clicks and fraudulent display of web-placed advertisements
OAT-009 CAPTCHA Bypass Solve anti-automation tests
OAT-001 Carding Multiple payment authorisation attempts used to verify the validity of bulk

stolen payment card data

OAT-010 Card Cracking Identify missing start/expiry dates and security codes for stolen payment card

data by trying different values

OAT-012 Cashing Out Buy goods or obtain cash utilising validated stolen payment card or other user

account data

OAT-007 Credential Cracking Identify valid login credentials by trying different values for usernames and/or


OAT-015 Denial of Service Target resources of the application and database servers, or individual user

accounts, to achieve denial of service (DoS)

OAT-006 Expediting Perform actions to hasten progress of usually slow, tedious or time-consuming


OAT-004 Fingerprinting Elicit information about the supporting software and framework types and


OAT-018 Footprinting Probe and explore application to identify its constituents and properties
OAT-005 Scalping Obtain limited-availability and/or preferred goods/services by unfair methods
OAT-011 Scraping Collect application content and/or other data for use elsewhere
OAT-016 Skewing Repeated link clicks, page requests or form submissions intended to alter some


OAT-013 Sniping Last minute bid or offer for goods or services
OAT-017 Spamming Malicious or questionable information addition that appears in public or

private content, databases or user messages

OAT-002 Token Cracking Mass enumeration of coupon numbers, voucher codes, discount tokens, etc.
OAT-014 Vulnerability Scanning Crawl and fuzz application to identify weaknesses and possible vulnerabilities


  1. ^ Watson, Colin (2015-10-26). "OWASP Automated Threat Handbook" (PDF). OWASP. OWASP. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  2. ^ "Security Insights: Defending Against Automated Threats | SecurityWeek.Com". Retrieved 2016-09-18.