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  • Apple's iMessage a Haven for Spammers, Accounts for 30% of Mobile Spam Messages


    iMessage has become a popular form of communication between iOS device users, but communication isn't the only thing that iMessage is being used for. iMessage has also become a haven for widespread spamming from companies and individuals who want your attention.

    According to Wired, iMessage now accounts for more than 30% of all mobile spam messages sent. It's very easy for someone to set up iMessage spam – the report notes that with only 4 lines of script code, iMessage spam can be sent to just about anyone with contact information in hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wired
    Apple’s iMessage system spans across the iPad, iPhone, and Apple’s laptop and desktop systems. That fusion of the desktop and mobile world makes it particularly easy for scammers to write a Mac OS script that can send messages to all types of devices just as fast as Apple will allow. “It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want.”
    It doesn't help that Apple's iMessage system ties in to all of your devices via your Apple ID. By the time you receive one spammy iMessage from a company or an individual, it's suddenly synchronized to all of your iOS devices, so it makes one little spammy iMessage feel like 2 or even 3 spammy iMessages. It also makes you feel like the attacker can get to you from just about anywhere.

    Luckily, iOS 7 comes with a blocking feature, which can sometimes be useful when you're wanting to eliminate spammy messages from a particular sender. Unfortunately, since spammers often register new e-mails for their needs, this isn't a solid solution to the problem. We're at the mercy of Apple to help cut down on iMessage spam.

    Sources: Wired via iClarified
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's iMessage a Haven for Spammers, Accounts for 30% of Mobile Spam Messages started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Never happened to me. I wonder what spammers people are giving their emails to.
    1. Jozelito617's Avatar
      Jozelito617 -
      I only sign up for tiger direct SMS coupons deals... I get third parties website selling cheap stuff... Only changing my # help because unsubscribe didn't help
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      I hate those freaking messages! I get them every other week.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Like any other email or communication service, you only get spam if the spammers get ahold of your contact information. I can't feel sorry for people who are loose with their contact info, and it's shouldn't be considered anything specific to Apple or apple's fault.

      The article mentioned that, since all your devices are connected through iMessage, you get the spam message multiple times. However, it doesn't mention that the first time you see it an delete it, it'll be deleted on all those other devices too!
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
      The article mentioned that, since all your devices are connected through iMessage, you get the spam message multiple times. However, it doesn't mention that the first time you see it an delete it, it'll be deleted on all those other devices too!
      Just the initial shock that every single device in your house lights up and buzzes for the same spam message is enough to convince me that it's out of control.
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      Some people get hold of your email do to no fault if your own.
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      I think Apple can easily block the spamming since it has to go through their server, and has an obligation to do so. If someone sends out 500+ iMessages in a matter of seconds, that is not normal usage.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      I have AT&T so I just forward the text to 7726 to report spam text and the number it was sent from first, then if it still comes through? Then use the blocking feature on iOS7
    1. XweAponX's Avatar
      XweAponX -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
      I have AT&T so I just forward the text to 7726 to report spam text and the number it was sent from first, then if it still comes through? Then use the blocking feature on iOS7

      ATT used to be great, you could just forward it to that number or simply type BLOCK in all caps. I have sprint now.

      This kind of spam is why iBlacklist is still a worthy app, it not only blocks the incoming from unwanted spammage, but you can also send an automatic preconfigured message back to them, I used to make several insults that I could choose from.

      The only problem with iBlacklist is that the liscence costs 10 bucks.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by peacedog View Post
      I think Apple can easily block the spamming since it has to go through their server, and has an obligation to do so. If someone sends out 500+ iMessages in a matter of seconds, that is not normal usage.
      Umm, there are literally thousands of legitimate businesses out there that would send emails to more than 500 Apple customers. Every major business that might send you something like a bill reminder. Every legitimate business that has a newsletter, or weekly sales ad.

      It would be intercredbly difficult to try to design a filter system that could tell good mass emailing from unwanted spam. And if they tried, they would accidentally block enough legit email that people would flip out in anger. That's why email service providers have, for many many years, built in the ability for you, the user, to create your own filter sand blocking lists.