Tom Landesman from security and anti-spam company Cloudmark, claims that Apple’s iMessage service accounts for more than 30% of all mobile spam messages. According to Wired, iMessage has become “a cheap and easy way for luxury goods spammers” to get their junk messages on users’ iOS devices and Mac OS machines.
Apple’s iMessage service, that works across all iOS and Mac OS laptop and desktop systems, 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 the company 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.”
“Apple’s desktop client instantly tells you whether or not the number you’ve entered is registered with the iMessage network, so scammers could use this feature to generate a list of verified iMessages users. As an added bonus, iMessage notifies the scammer whether the message they’ve sent out has been read or not.
Most of the time, the spammer will need a phone number to deliver the iMessage spam, but if you’ve added your email address to iMessage, the spammers can get you using that address too.”
Landesman says that since it’s very easy for spammers to register iMessage accounts by simply using email addresses, “if you have a whole bunch of accounts, you’d be able to send a huge volume of messages”, in less than 10 minutes, for free. Luckily, iMessage users have the option to turn off alerts from users who aren’t in their list of contacts (Settings –>Notification Center –> Messages –> Show Alerts from My Contacts).
Do you get iMessage spam often?