Spectrum Internet

What is a botnet, and how does Spectrum help protect me?

A botnet is a software robot that connects a group of devices or computers infected with malware and runs autonomously. Botnets infect your computer with malicious software without your knowledge or create a network of “zombie computers” used to send spam, install malware, or steal identities.

We have network management tools that alert us to the type of network activity that could indicate your computer is part of a botnet. These tools are designed to protect your computer and your online security.

  • Spam Detection: Network activity is monitored for signs of outbound spam. If these tools indicate that your equipment is being used to transmit spam to others, you could receive an error message that indicates your outbound mail was refused.
  • Virus Detection: When viruses or other malware is detected in outbound email, the email may be stopped and you will receive the error message Error: 550: E-mail message contained a virus.
  • In some extreme cases, your Internet service could be denied until the issue is resolved. You should Contact Us immediately to try to correct the issue.

What Can You Do?


  • Download the McAfee software provided with your Internet service and scan your computer for a possible virus, Trojan, or other security vulnerability.
  • Ensure that all of the security patches for your computer’s operating system are up to date.
  • Use the firewall applications that come with your computer's operating system.

For more information on how to improve your online security, see How can I protect my computer from viruses and other malicious software?

If you feel your computer may be infected, visit our Bot Remediation page for more information on removing botnets.

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Article Number: 9548

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