Netacea: Beware of the 'grinch bots'!

Popular merchandise expected to be targeted by bots over the holiday season, according to Netacea's Quarterly Index

Be careful what you wish for this Christmas and Black Friday, because according to Manchester's Netacea, 'scalper' bots (also known as 'grinch' bots), will be out in force to ruin the holiday season for many.

In its latest quarterly index report from Netacea’s Threat Research, five items in particular will be targeted by scalper bots.

The top 5 scalper bot targets over Q3 were:

  • Nike LeBron 18 Low Wile E vs. Roadrunner Space Jam sneaker
  • Yeezy Slide Pure
  • Games console restocks: Xbox X Series, PS5 & Nintendo Switch OLED
  • Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
  • NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphic card


The research supports many of the same trends observed in Q2 (April to June 2021), including video game equipment and designer items, which are typically targeted aggressively by scalpers.

Specific items targeted by bots continue to change to mirror the latest “hot drops”, according to the report, while the rise in popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sees a new entry to the list in Q3.

Cryptomining continues to steer the gaming and scalper landscape. 

The report reveals the top targets expected in this quarter in the lead up to, and during, Black Friday weekend and Christmas 2021.  The findings are particularly useful to eCommerce businesses looking to stay one step ahead of the scalper bots.

Scalper bots - also known as sneaker bots or grinch bots - traditionally target merchandise in high demand or limited supply and snap it up faster than human users can.

The merchandise is then sold for a profit, which is cause for concern as these bots are easily available to the public and not just to seasoned hackers with access to the dark web.

The Netacea Threat Research Team predicts that scalpers will likely continue to target consoles and graphics cards, but also taking advantage of the demand for luxury items such as watches and handbags as prices drop over the holiday season. The team has also identified one-off toys, such as the new LEGO Titanic model.

Depending on stock levels and demand, the team expect scalpers to go after the newest technology releases, including the iPhone 13, VR headsets and other advanced equipment used for competitive gaming.

To discover all the latest insights, here to Netacea's website.


About Netacea


Netacea has a mission to harness the power of artificial intelligence to protect and optimise all of the world's biggest websites.

Netacea was created from the product development function within Intechnica. Intechnica is an enterprise development and consultancy company focusing on producing high complexity, high performance, secure applications as well as providing digital transformation programs for businesses looking to modernise their technical capability or to introduce modern data science capabilities into their business.

The AI-driven company used a machine to choose their name! You can find out more here.


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