Walmart Has Blocked Over 20 Million Bot Attempts By PS5 Scalpers
Walmart’s Chief Information Security Officer, Jerry Geisler, has revealed that the retailer has blocked over 20 million attempts by bots to mass purchase the PlayStation 5.
Scalpers have made the process to purchase new consoles an absolute headache for genuine buyers, many of whom are still without a console ahead of the year-end holidays. Retailers have often been criticized for not doing enough to block scalpers, resulting in Geisler penning the unusual letter. The aforementioned 20 million bot attempts were all made within 30 minutes of Walmart’s PS5 event on November 25th. The executive said that this number is only a “fraction” of what the retailer has been dealing with.
“Bot scripts are constantly evolving and being re-written, so we’ve built, deployed and are continuously updating our own bot detection tools allowing us to successfully block the vast majority of bots we see,” Geisler explained. “As an additional step, we also audit and quickly cancel any orders confirmed to be purchased by bots that may have slipped through. As a result, the vast majority of our next-gen consoles have been purchased by legitimate customers, which is exactly what we want.”
Interestingly, Geisler concluded his letter by revealing that Walmart has requested lawmakers to prevent “unwanted bots on retail sites” – something lawmakers across the pond in the UK are already considering. Geisler also requested retail partners to join Walmart’s efforts.
“We have more next-gen consoles coming online soon, and we’re continuing to work hard to get them into the hands of as many customers as possible.” he promised.