OAT-016 Skewing

Skewing 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

Repeated link clicks, page requests or form submissions intended to alter some metric.

Indicative Diagram

Indicative diagram for OAT-016


Automated repeated clicking or requesting or submitting content, a ecting application-based metrics such as counts and measures of frequency and/or rate. The metric or measurement may be visible to users (e.g. betting odds, likes, market/ dynamic pricing, visitor count, poll results, reviews) or hidden (e.g. application usage statistics, business performance indicators). Metrics may affect individuals as well as the application owner, e.g. user reputation, influence others, gain fame, or undermine someone else’s reputation.

For malicious alteration of digital advertisement metrics, see OAT-003 Ad Fraud instead.

Other Names and Examples

Biasing KPIs; Boosting friends, visitors, and likes; Click fraud; Dynamic pricing hacking; Election fraud; Hit count fraud; Market distortion; Metric and statistic skewing; Page impression fraud; Poll fraud; Poll skewing; Poll/voting subversion; Rating/review skewing; SEO; Stock manipulation; Survey skewing

See Also


CAPEC Category / Attack Pattern IDs

  • 210 Abuse of Functionality

CWE Base / Class / Variant IDs

  • 799 Improper Control of Interaction Frequency
  • 837 Improper Enforcement of a Single, Unique Action

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.