Security News > 2022 > June > Scalper bots out of control in Israel, selling state appointments
Out-of-control scalper bots have created havoc in Israel by registering public service appointments for various government services and then offering to sell them to disgruntled citizens.
The bot's operators attempted to sell appointments for a range of government agencies for over $100, including passport renewal, the Israeli Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Transport, National Insurance, Israel Post, and the Israeli state Electricity Company.
To help with the situation, software developers created an appointment scheduling bot named 'GamkenBot' that checks available appointments on the state's site and books them automatically.
As the bot was made publicly available for everyone to benefit, malicious actors grabbed it and modified its functions to scalp all the available appointments.
The sellers of the appointments present themselves as well-meaning developers who want to help people, but in reality, they are making it even harder for people to get appointments that are meant to be free.
If you live in the country, note that purchasing appointments via this illegal channel gives the operators an incentive to continue and even expand to more critical areas like hospital appointments, for example.