The Menace of Spambots

The Menace of Spambots

What are they?

Technically speaking, bots are automated programs designed to perform a specific task, like connect you with a customer service agent. There are bad ones, good ones, and countless more in between. Bots are often associated with sites like Twitter, Facebook or company websites for the purpose of qualifying leads while there are many other types whose sole function is to wreak havoc on your servers. A perfect example of malicious bots is spam bots. These critters are like a pest that sneaks into your garden unnoticed and multiply. Within no time, you have a full infestation on your hands that can be next to impossible to control.

Their mission

In the same way, spam bots are crawling the internet collecting email addresses that are exposed due to social sharing on websites and other social platforms. These are known as email spam bots and are used by spammers to collect large volumes of email addresses. Other spam bots take pleasure in infecting business networks by making random port connections aside other than port 25, activity which can easily be detected on your network’s firewall. The bots can send out as many junk emails as you can guess. We have had a case where a client was receiving up to 60,000 spam emails a day. Yes, the bots would send out 1000 spam emails per second on the client’s local network, can you imagine the headache? 

Spambots are also programmed to mimic human behavior online, like filling out signup sheets that lack Captcha verification, making comments and engaging in chats. This particular menace continues to plague beloved social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and other business websites.

How to recognize Spambots on Social Media

Here are a few tips on how to recognize your fellow warm-blooded users from the bots.

  1. Excessive spelling and grammar mistakes
  2. Offers on consumer products and other products that sound too good to be true!
  3. Aggressive directions to click on links or forward a message
  4. Irrelevant comments. These are known as comment spam and are usually not related to the post in any way

A way out

As it is difficult to remove spambots from your network, we offer a simpler solution that has worked for our clients known as SMTP Shielding. This means we block all SMTP connections outside our clients’ network but our own. In this way, the spam bots can no longer make any random connections and consequently, send any junk mail. If you are receiving an unusual number of spam emails and cannot seem to pinpoint their origin using server messaging tracking, it is likely that your network or mail server is infected by spambots and we have the solution!