Christos Iliou, Theodoros Kostoulas , Theodora Tsikrika, Vasilis Katos, Stefanos Vrochidis, Ioannis Kompatsiaris

Published in

ACM Digital Threats: Research and Practice (DTRAP)


computing methodologies, machine learning, learning paradigms, supervised learning, information systems, world wide web, web mining

Open Access



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 browserlike fingerprint and humanlike behaviour that 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 toward detecting advanced web bots that try to evade detection, as opposed to using only one of those approaches.