OAT-013 Sniping

Sniping is an automated threat. The OWASP Automated Threat Handbook - Web Applications (pdf, print), an output of the OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project, provides a fuller guide to each threat, detection methods and countermeasures. The threat identification chart helps to correctly identify the automated threat.


OWASP Automated Threat (OAT) Identity Number


Threat Event Name


Summary Defining Characteristics

Last minute bid or offer for goods or services.

Indicative Diagram

Indicative diagram for OAT-013


The defining characteristic of Sniping is an action undertaken at the latest opportunity to achieve a particular objective, leaving insufficient time for another user to bid/offer. Sniping can also be the automated exploitation of system latencies in the form of timing attacks. Careful timing and prompt action are necessary parts. It is most well known as auction sniping, but the same threat event can be used in other types of applications. Sniping normally leads to some disbenefit for other users, and sometimes that might be considered a form of denial of service.

In contrast, OAT-005 Scalping is the acquisition of limited availability of sought-after goods or services, and OAT-006 Expediting is the general hastening of progress.

Other Names and Examples

Auction sniping; Bid sniper; Front- running; Last look; Last minute bet; Timing attack

See Also


CAPEC Category / Attack Pattern IDs

  • 210 Abuse of Functionality

CWE Base / Class / Variant IDs

  • -

WASC Threat IDs

  • 21 Insufficient Anti-Automation
  • 42 Abuse of Functionality

OWASP Attack Category / Attack IDs

  • Abuse of Functionality

Return to OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project.