evil hacker in a hoodie in front of computer code

Telemarketers, Spammers, and Out-of-Control bots

What do all these have in common?

  • They are all annoying,
  • everyone hates them (with the possible exception of their spouses and mothers),
  • all are (to some extent) illegal, and
  • for them to be successful, they must be bad for (your) business.

What does this have to do with license management?   Nothing at all.  But this kind of behavior is an annoyance for everyone.  This week we spent an unreasonable amount of time identifying and stopping a bad bot that was generating roughly 50% of our website traffic.

When we finally found them they told us “you can block our traffic in your robots.txt file”.  Really?  (We had already blocked them).  Should the onus be on us to find them then block them, when we never asked to have them come and abuse our site?  And because their software developers don’t test their code before they unleash it on the internet at large?

They are in business to make your business worse.

When we found them, they told us this:  “(product name) is a digital marketing software that allows its users to view various information about their competitors from an SEO and SEM standpoint.”   Well, that makes me feel so much better about their bad software flooding my server with bogus requests.

In our case, their bad requests each generated a 404-not found error, which they repeated minute after minute, day after day.  And there is 0 advantage to us, in fact, their business allows our competitors to take advantage of us. Their business makes our business worse.  And they will do the same to you.  Also, their business slows down our website. And in our case, it was about to force us to upgrade our web hosting plan.  I would call that, at a minimum, unethical.  We won’t mention the company name, but they are a well-known company in the SEM business and given the state of their software, they are in a hurry to release new versions.

So their business is, at some level, putting a burden on each and every website owner (unknown to them) so that they can generate a profit. They should be compensating every website they invade, or at a minimum, requesting permission before they perform this kind of attack on a site.

Leave us a comment, and we will be happy to show you how to block them.  They have no business messing with your site.  It’s time to stop this kind of abuse.


  1. Paul Britton says:

    Happy to receive any advice on how to block. Ourt web site is under constant hacking attacks which we sucure through the firewall, but I’m not sure about this kind of attack on our web server.

  2. staff says:

    Hi Paul:
    We blocked them using cloudflare before we heard back from them.
    They claim that they honor robots.txt, and you can stop them from crawling your site with the following in your robots.txt file:

    User-agent: SemrushBot
    Disallow: /

    (FYI, we reported this to them last Wed, yet they continue to probe our site with bad URLs).

    Good luck!

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