Definition

spambot

A spambot is a program designed to collect, or harvest, e-mail addresses from the Internet in order to build mailing lists for sending unsolicited e-mail, also known as spam. A spambot can gather e-mail addresses from Web sites, newsgroups, special-interest group (SIG) postings, and chat-room conversations. Because e-mail addresses have a distinctive format, spambots are easy to write.

A number of legislators in the U.S. are reported to be devising laws that would outlaw the spambot. A number of programs and approaches have been devised to foil spambots. One such technique is known as munging, in which an e-mail address is deliberately modified so that a human reader can decode it but a spambot cannot. This has led to the evolution of sophisticated spambots that can recover e-mail addresses from character strings that appear to be munged.

The term spambot is sometimes used in reference to a program designed to prevent spam from reaching the subscribers of an Internet service provider (ISP). Such programs are more often called e-mail blockers or filters. Occasionally, such a blocker may inadvertently prevent a legitimate e-mail message from reaching a subscriber. This can be prevented by allowing each subscriber to generate a whitelist, or a list of specific e-mail addresses the blocker should let pass.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About spambot

Dig Deeper on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Long before such programs, social engineering techniques were successfully utilized for the same purpose: "chain mails", etc.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchWindowsServer

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchCloudComputing

SearchSQLServer

Close