What is an e-mail bomb? Definition and examples

An e-mail bomb is the sending of a huge number of e-mails to one system or person. We also call it a ‘mail bomb.’ It is a kind of technological attack or cyber attack. The e-mail bomber aims to overwhelm a mailbox so that it shuts down. Sometimes, the whole e-mail server shuts down too. An e-mail bomb is a form of Internet abuse in which the attacker tries to trigger a denial-of-service situation.

A denial-of-service or DNS occurs when a machine or network becomes unavailable because something has disrupted the service. In this case, the e-mail bomb has caused the DNS.

An e-mail bomb is a type of denial-of-service attack. People who send e-mail bombs have malicious intent, i.e., they intend to do harm. Along with hackers, e-mail bombers are a danger and nuisance for online people, businesses, and other entities.

A hacker is somebody who gains access to a computer or computer system by breaking password codes. They do this without authorization.

E-Mail Bomb
We can write the term with or without a hyphen, i.e., either ’email bomb’ or ‘e-mail bomb.’

Webopedia has the following definition of e-mail bomb:

“A malicious act where huge numbers of e-mails are directed to a specific system or a targeted user of that system.”

“Mail bombs will usually fill the allotted space on an e-mail server for the user’s e-mail and can result in crashing the e-mail server.”

E-mail bomb – two types

There are two main types of e-mail bombs, one floods the system and the other triggers massive subscription sign ups.

Denial-of-service attack

In this type of bomb, the attacker sends a massive number of emails to one address.

The system floods, resulting in a denial-of-service, i.e., the system crashes.

Mass subscriptions

We call this type ‘e-mail subscription bombing.’ The attacker automatically subscribes someone, i.e., the victim, to many electronic mailing lists.

Each mailing list sends many messages regularly. Subsequently, there is a flood of mail hitting the victim’s e-mail account virtually all the time.

Text bomb vs. e-mail bomb

A text bomb is like an e-mail bomb, but the attacker uses text messages over SMS. The attacker floods the victim with SMS text messages.

Text bombing is a means of online harassment or cyber-bullying.

Some Android apps had to be banned because of text bombs. In some cases, the bombs led to extremely high phone bills.

Some Android apps exist that can help protect the Android phone user from bombs.