New Research Claims iMessage Accounts for 30% of Mobile Spam Messages

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iMessage is responsible for more than 30% of all spam messages on mobile devices, according to research done by security expert Tom Landesman and anti-spam company Cloudmark (via Wired). The researcher notes that there are multiple reasons as to why the platform has become a prime choice for spammers, stating that iMessage's reach across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac along with its accessibility have made it easy to target users:
    With iMessage, spammers can send unwanted messages to a user's associated emails and phone numbers if enabled. The ability for the desktop Messages client to verify numbers with the iMessage network has also made sending spam to confirmed users easier, along with the fact that signing up for the service can be done with just an email. The researcher further notes that iMessage's read receipts feature (which can be turned off) allows spammers to better generate a list of verified users to spam based on activity.

    Apple has made a few moves to combat spam in iMessage over the past year, adding a rate-limit for sent messages after some iOS developers experienced a denial-of-service prank, and adding a spam reporting tool. However, that tool remains a bit complicated to use, as it requires users to send Apple an email containing the screenshot of the spam message, the email or phone number it was received from, and the date and time.

    Article Link: New Research Claims iMessage Accounts for 30% of Mobile Spam Messages
  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2014
    Southampton - United Kingdom
  3. macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    i don't have such a problem so far using iMessage.
  4. macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2013
    I can only speak for myself an everyone who I know has an Apple device (so we are talking lots of people :p ), I have never seen nor heard of any spam via iMessage.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2007
    Non issue

    I've never received a spam iMessage ever, but...

    Simple fix : add a toggle option to 'only receive iMessages from people in my contact list'

    Non approved senders will have to revert to email ( same amount of spam as usual) or SMS ( costs money)
  6. macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    For a while I had a spammer sending me iMessages around 8am, I know that since iOS 7 I can now block people from texting/calling me and for a while this is what I was doing with this spammer (though he would eventually just message me from a new email address).

    About 2 months ago I got a message once again around 8am, I was getting ready for work and rather than block it I just swiped and delete the message, then the next day same thing, on the 3rd day he messaged me and it happen to be my day off. I received the message on my Mac and I was rather annoyed so I googled "Gay Porn" images and saved about 20 pictures, then using copy and paste I sent well over 100 text images (20 pictures each time) of gay porn from my Mac to that guy.

    Two months later not a single spam from that person.

    The spam was a sale on sunglasses and a bunch of accessories.
  7. batchtaster, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

    Mar 3, 2008
    Never received one. Ever.

    Any chance you could resend them to me?

    P.S. Saving them probably put them into your Photo Stream...
  8. macrumors 6502

    Eddy Munn

    Dec 27, 2008
    I've never had any spam messages through iMessage.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Nov 23, 2011
    100% agreed -- first I'm hearing of this sort of stuff.

    Then again, articles which say 'New Research' in the title are often followed with 'claims eating 5 bananas a day while standing upside down prevents cancer'.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    U should spam him :cool:
  11. macrumors 68030


    Nov 23, 2011
    Uh-huh, reminds me of that time I was doing the hoovering naked and accidentally tripped into my vacuum cleaner.
  12. macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    I get the occasional SMS spam but never had any on iMessage. Neither have my wife or kids, although the kids probably consider my requests to them to do their chores, spam.
  13. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    Wow, I guess I'm lucky so far to have never received any spam via iMessage.

    I once received a spam text about 13 years ago when I had a Nextel phone.
  14. macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Well, considering I'm gay thats not really an issue for me.
  15. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    I'd be pretty happy to get rid of a spammer too.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    I get TONS of spam through iMessage

    Since everyone else is busy declaring there is no such thing as spam on iMessage, let me just share my own experience of receiving multiple spam messages from multiple accounts every day.

    Blacklisting isn't helpful since they just use a new address every time, and turning off iMessage for people who aren't contacts isn't really a good alternative for me as I have to communicate with a lot of people in a lot of countries, many of whom I don't necessarily have contact details for ahead of time.

    Screenshot to show my experience:


    Oh, and for reference I live in China. Don't know if spam should be worse here or not, but clearly an issue worth looking at.
  17. macrumors regular

    May 24, 2012
    ^ wow that sucks for you :( - I'm one of the lucky ones and have only ever had a good experience....
  18. macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    Spam is definitely worse in China, you don't wanna use email services like or qq, once you do that, you're screwed...
  19. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I've been lucky so far and have not experienced any spam messages on iMessage either. I've received a few a year via SMS though.
  20. macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2012
    I've never received a spam msg through iMessage !

    Malta Guy
  21. macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2006
    London UK

    1. Turn off read receipts if activated
    2. Activate iMessages to be received from known contacts in your list
    3. Take a snap shot of all the spam messages with contact numbers and email addresses and send to
    4. I have an email address that I give out when downloading software etc and ensure that all mail notifying of services goes there as a lot of these companies share the info (despite saying no sharing data with third party or company affiliations).

    I've not had the problems you've encountered but email spam I do get and I report it as soon as it arrives. So far no iMessage spam thank fully.

    Anyway I hope this helps and perhaps someone will have a better idea to contribute to support you. :)
  22. macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2005
    I also got a whole lotta SPAM.


    Oh wait, wrong thread.
  23. macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2006
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    This is a good idea
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    News flash...
    This is real...
    Moon is made out of cheese!

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