Fraud Prevention

How to Stop Spam and Abuse

June 4, 20205 min Read

spam and abuse Arkose Labs

Fraudsters frequently use ATO attacks or new account fraud in order to disseminate spam. Compromised accounts are used to send phishing messages, encourage users to unwittingly click on malicious links, or to share offensive or inappropriate content. 

The world is going digital, and now Digital will likely be a key component of the new normal. Digitization helps businesses reach out to a global customer base. It provides people with the convenience of location- and device-agnostic access to innovative products and services. But, it also creates numerous opportunities for attackers to send spam and abuse online services.

Businesses are transitioning over to the digital realm at a fast pace. As more and more businesses move online, digital assets proliferate. This provides fraudsters with an expanded attack surface.

Spam and online abuse in digital commerce

Today, digital businesses use many web forms to capture customer information. For instance, customers must sign-up to access certain services on websites and apps. Returning customers must log-in with their usernames and passwords for specific services. Customers provide payment details at checkout and verify their shipping addresses for delivery. Businesses also use web forms to solicit inquiries and enable customers to contact them.

Often, businesses allow customers to use their products or services for free for a specified period before going paid. Examples include online games or subscriptions. Customers can review the products and services and post their reviews on the website. Businesses also run online communities and forums to support their customers.

Most businesses publish blogs and thought leadership articles on their websites. There is product- and company-related literature that people can download after providing their details in a web form. All of these avenues make businesses vulnerable and provide cybercriminals with many opportunities to attack.

Attackers grab every opportunity to strike. They disseminate malicious spam and exploit businesses for their own financial gain. According to Statista, in December 2019, spam emails accounted for more than 57% of the entire email traffic. Besides sending spam emails, malicious actors can abuse the business in the form of fake new accounts, fake reviews, in-game abuse, gift and discount voucher hacks, and targeting platform users.

Legacy and point solutions cannot stop spam at scale

To protect their websites, apps, web forms, online communities, and intellectual property from spam and abuse, many businesses deploy basic fraud prevention solutions. These legacy solutions, however, are limited in their capabilities. So, they cannot provide the resilience needed to fight complex and ever-evolving attacks. Automated solvers and bots can easily find their way around these legacy solutions. As a result, these solutions fail to stop spam and abuse attacks from achieving scale.

Often, to stop automated bot attacks, businesses deploy solutions that use anti-bot technology. Since these solutions specifically target bots, they fail to identify and stop human sweatshops. These human sweatshops can easily evade anti-bot solutions to disseminate malicious spam and abuse online assets at scale. This malicious traffic causes financial and reputational losses to the businesses.

How businesses can stop spam and abuse

While financial losses can be made good over a period of time, reputational losses are long-term and difficult to restore. But, businesses cannot continue to absorb these losses as the cost of doing business. As such, businesses must identify both automated and human-driven attacks to put an end to spam and abuse attempts. They need an integrated approach that helps them effectively tackle sweatshops as well as bots to mitigate potential losses.

The Arkose Labs approach

Arkose Bot Manager helps businesses stop malicious traffic at the front doors. The customized and on-brand solution ensures minimal disruption to good users while being ruthless on automated and sweatshop-driven attacks. This ensures only legitimate, revenue-generating traffic can access business websites and apps.

The dynamic risk combines digital intelligence from the device and the network with users' behavioral patterns to assign them risk scores. This informs the challenge-response mechanism to present 3D Arkose MatchKey challenges according to the risk assessment of the user.

Causing bots and malicious humans to fail

Good users can clear the challenges swiftly and often find these puzzles fun. But, bots--however sophisticated--fail immediately. This is because automatic solvers cannot solve these Arkose MatchKey challenges at scale. Malicious humans face increasingly complex challenges. They must spend more time solving the challenges. Also, they must invest in more resources to clear the challenges at scale.

Dissemination of spam is a high-volume, low-returns activity. Therefore, failing bots and slow sweatshops erode the return on investment of the attack, forcing attackers to move on.

The Arkose Labs' approach busts the attack model and provides digital businesses with long-term protection from spam and abuse. This is while the customer experience is placed at the front and center throughout.

To learn how to stop spam and abuse, click here.

To download the new Spam and Abuse solution brief: Protect websites and apps from malicious activity, click here.