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As suggested by several users, I have turned this forum post into a guide. Edits will eventually happen, as required for a well maintained guide. Now, onto the matter- Steam spambots
An infected user, or bot, is a Steam account either-
A– A legitimate account that got hijacked by the bot virus, spreading through one method such as the .scr link (elaborated further on), giving the virus a method of travel to go through, OR
B– A randomly generated bot account, usually with generic names such as [unassigned], or semi authentic usernames that look organic as if they were real players. These bot accounts will almost always be private, or not set up, or if they show any information, it will be for free or giveaway games with minimal time clocked, or 0 hours in total.
Why do they do this? In my theory, which evidence is seen with stolen inventory items and accounts all over the community, is that you have a hacker brew up some simple bot program that will parse Steam and spam tactics until they find a vulnerable user. Sometimes they will be direct about it, saying that they are a trade bot selling items cheap, and give you a malicious link, other times they pretend to be a real user who is having difficulty trading Often times this goes to a fake steam link.
Misspelled with examples such as "Steammcommunity" or "stearncommunity" that go to false virus ridden websites that install various malicious account stealing tools without your knowledge, or go to direct other sites such as VK or a file hosting service that will download the same kind of bad files, for example an infected .scr, seen to be a picture of a CSGO or Dota inventory. Do NOT download this file, and if you have, please do not run it. It is a false .scr screensaver file that probably hijacks your account, and I can only reccomend to change your passwords and keep an eye out for any malicious unintentional activity.
No matter the bait, it is generally obviously a scam, but sometimes it still gets vulnerable users, often children, or those of a non English language. After the bot hooks your account, they may sap bank information, steal your inventory items, or just comb your friend list for more to spread in, which is why they often work in public places such as your profile.
The only tactic against this is vigilance, spreading the word keeping friends aware and alert, and reporting them as harrasment, spammers, or hijacked accounts. Sometimes it is easy as that, but the virus keeps spreading.
As of getting 30+ bot invites a day, around the start of this year, I noticed a few certain features of these spam bots.
1– You will ALWAYS gather more bot invite requests, the more time you clock into games, I would assume this is due to something in certain bot coding that sees active users and targetst them more, as it would make sense to find more active users to find more friends and spread quicky in this way, maybe leeching bank data through this .scr virus and hijacking items. It is possible that those who frequent third party trading sites may also be seeing a hieghtened amount of bot/scam activity. I do not use these resources, but as a person with a sizeable inventory of some wealth, I may be a higher value target than a new user with few or no games, however they relentlessly hit both.
2– As of late January there seems to be some sort of bug in the bot generation program that has been making duplicate bots. I’ll give an example, all happening within the past few hours after sinking 2-3 hours into a few different games- I get added by a bot named unassigned, moments later the name changes to something specific, lets say Alex, then I immediately after get another invite from the same name, same profile, same bot, but different account, giving me 2 or more users of the same name, picture, and purpose. Sometimes its several at once, sometimes its few over an hour, but it usually is in pairs of 2. Sometimes they have the same profile picture, a random image grabbed from the internet, or its just no profile picture. This is seen in the screenshot in the last section. They are dumb, relentless, and still are somehow winning out on certain users.
Edit– As of February, the bots seem to have advanced slightly, as they spammers will sometime put spaces in their links to avoid automatic flagging and removal as seen by the last image in this guide, valve taking action to protect us.
Fortunately for us, Steam seems to be cracking down, as certain links are being automatically removed, however the bots still exist for all of us.
SO, in my observation, again, I’ll classify the bots into a few different types of styles
–Friend request spammer:
This is how it all starts, you get several friend requests at a time from some extremely generic either super high level, or level 0 or 1 users. My theory is that they, like said before, somehow catch the active users, people who play games, specifically multiplayer and latch onto your account, wanting access to your friend list. Once you accept them, they may comb your friend list to find more people to spam requests to, many dont even message you, they just sit on your friend’s list and go offline permanently. They then can evolve into the next two, with some exception. Only good counter against them is blocking and reporting as a spambot or hacked user when you know for sure, or blocking outright.
EDIT- As of May, I’m still getting just as many spam friend accounts. The bots arent getting any smarter, but some of the behaviors are looking to be more legitimate. For example, I’m getting many bot requests from accounts that are above level 5 but never above level 10. Here’s one example.
I beleive that these may be stolen accounts, or inactive accounts from many years ago, as many of them have older games and Vac bans from times long passed. Often as well, the accounts can originate from Eastern Europe but are not limited to there, so I believe that these types of accounts are ‘recycled’ by bots who get access to them through the usual means, users who dont care much about their Steam accounts perhaps.
A chat spammer will almost always infiltrate your friend list first, then spam you with a variety of things, either direct requests to click on a link, to a more elaborate timed response that simulates a conversation. Then they’ll say, check out my link to trade me, or something of the like, and they post a link that goes to a malicious .scr, which is probably what infects legitimate users who fall trap to this, which is why you sometimes see normal users sending out these things. Careful, sometimes they are more elusive, soemtimes they disguise as something you’d see in a bad social network, "you are very beautiful, is this picture you?" Again, only thing to do about it is copy and paste the proof they are a bot, and report them as hijacked, or a bot spammer and then block them.
Feb 1 Edit, A new behaviour in some of the chat bots seems to be a simulated conversation. For me, they will just say hi, and not reply. This seems to be a preventative measure, keeping you from removign them from your friend list. Be wary, a specific user sent me "Hi" at nearly the exact same time for every day, adding an annoying notification I do not want when I come to Steam.
Arguably the worst of the bunch, they can spam your account if you allow public comments. I once got over 10 of these within 24 hours, all saying the same thing, "check out my screenshot", they are relentless and do not stop. As of recent, their links have seemed to be automatically dissapearing (thanks Steam staff) but its still an endless torrent of spam we need to soemhow counter.
Hopefully this was somehow useful, it summed up my theories on the bots, their actions, etc, all I can say is it probably spreads like a disease if you add them, so be wary, and good luck to all out there fighting this scum.
Once I find more evidence, or notice new behaviors, I will add it to this guide.
So in short, be vigilant, dont click malicious links, dont download anything you dont recognize, AND please, please please, dont add them as a friend, or at least investigate before doing so. Rememebr that some of these people MAY be infected users, so help them out and report them as hijacked if it seems as so.
Either way, basic logic, and safe practices will keep you safe from this menace. Good luck, and safe gaming everyone!
-during this time of writing, I had gotten 3 invites all within the starting of this topic
-as the time goes on, Steam continues to keep the bot links sort of surpressed, so we’ll see where it goes from here.
-EDIT: I did an experiment- Basically I purged all the bots from my friend list, and over the course of a day, the spam stopped. I then put an hour into DoD, and got a bot friend request. The next morning, I got another, so the frequency of getting bot friend requests may depend on how many you already have if they are designed to be one per person, or if its a variety of malicious codes that are attacking us at once.
Доброго денечка вам,
В течении последних нескольких месяцев с периодичностью где-то раз в неделю добавляются в стиме разные товарищи и рассказывают офигительные истории обычно про рекламу сайтов или "100% выигрыш в рулетке", но слава Пикабу появился способ с ними срожаццо.
Дубликаты не найдены
Видишь что лезет в друзья какое-то чудо с низкоуровневым аккаунтом, женским именем вместо ника и бабской фоточкой вместо авы, то 99,99% что это спамер или скамер.
Как они выбирают вас?) Сколько сижу, ни один не написал. 4 года аккаунту, онлайн чуть-ли не постоянный._.
А ты ведешь активность на стим-сообществах и торговых площадках? Как иначе им на тебя выходить.
А, вон оно что. Не, я просто играю, пилю кучу активности в ленту и читаю друзей. =)
Вот в том то и дело, подписан только на пару оф сообществ, в которых ничего не пишу, а торговая площадка только та, что от самого стима.
А на вид такая приличная девушка.
действительно, до этого ебантизма с "кря-кря" никак нельзя было бороться.
не говоря уже о возможности поставить человека в игнор. самому. сразу.
как же пост на пикабу? ненене, только показать что ты в тренде!
Согласен, игнор лучший способ, но иногда прям хочется :(
Ребята похожие писали года 3 назад. Такой топовый развод.
Никогда дальше 2 фраз общения с ними не заходил, но весьма действенный подход.
Понимаешь же, что по твоей ссылке по идее будут терять деньги, но всё равно идёшь дальше)
Это ж категория до 15 лет, кто реально закинет деньги, чтоб "гарантировано" победить.
А почему бы и не подзаработать? Хотя сам терпеть не могу рекламу. Может за нее платят мало, потому и такой негатив по поводу рекламы! Сигареты Радопи, во всех киосках 90-х годов, покупайте!))))
А автор с чего вдруг добавляет себе левых, незнакомых людей?
Или это как в ВК если у тебя 8000 "друзей" то ты типо крут?
Monitors a Groups comment section deleting and banning users it detects spamming.
npm i Install package deps
npm run dev Run the bot in dev mode
Username & Password are required for the bot to login to Steam, the bot does not support SteamGuard so it has to be disabled otherwise it will not work.
Name of group can be anything, it’s just an easy identifier, ID is the actual ID of the group, can be a bit hard to find but you can inspect the Join Group Chat button on the website, it contains a link that has the ID in it.