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A bot is short for robot or knowledge robot (aka knowbot). The term was introduced in 1988 to indicate software agents which perform tasks without a user's intervention.

The best known bots or robots are the robots used by search engines to gather information from the internet. These kinds of bots are also called crawler or spider.

Bots are also used by hackers. E.g. to gather personal information such as creditcard numbers or bank account numbers or to open a backdoor on a computer to acquire access without being noticed.

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