Some web pages can be scraped in less than an hour, particularly those with small amounts of content and little to no barriers to web scraping, like web application firewalls (WAFs), bot detection and mitigation, and CAPTCHAs.
Web scraping is a software method used to extract information from websites. It often includes transforming unstructured website data into a database for analysis, or repurposing stolen content for the scraper's own online operations. Not only does web scraping pose a critical challenge to company branding, it can also threaten sales and conversions, lower SEO rankings or undermine the integrity of content that took considerable time and resources to produce.
Through analysis of top web scraping platforms and services, Distil Networks' 2016 Economics of Web Scraping Report uncovers the ubiquity and danger of this practice. The following findings outline how the democratization of web scraping lets perpetrators effortlessly steal sensitive information on the web.
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