Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown

Skip to main content

Snowshoe spam

Snowshoe spam

Snowshoe spam definition

Snowshoe spam is a technique designed to distribute spam emails across a broad range of IP addresses and domains. The goal is to dilute the volume of spam sent from any one IP address or domain, making it harder for anti-spam tools and services to detect and block it.

The term “snowshoe” refers to how snowshoes distribute a person’s weight over a wide area to prevent them from sinking into the snow. In the same way, snowshoe spammers distribute their spam across a wide array of resources to evade detection.

Snowshoe spamming emerged as a technique around the mid-2000s. That’s when simple spam from a single IP address or domain became less effective due to improved spam filtering technology.

See also: spamming, spambot, anti-spam

Issues with snowshoe spam

  • Evasion of detection. The dispersed nature of snowshoe spam makes it more challenging for anti-spam mechanisms to detect and block these emails.
  • Inbox clutter. The most direct impact is that spam clutters inboxes with unwanted mail, leading to wasted time and missed important emails.
  • Risk of phishing attacks. Many spam emails are phishing attempts, trying to trick recipients into revealing sensitive data like passwords or credit card numbers.
  • Risk of malware. Some spam emails contain attachments or links that can infect your computer with viruses, ransomware, or spyware.
  • Resource consumption. For businesses and internet service providers, dealing with a high volume of spam can consume significant network bandwidth and storage resources.
  • Reputation damage. Spammers may hijack the IP addresses or domains of innocent people or businesses. This can bring significant damage to their reputation, and they may end up on email blocklists.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security