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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Despite previous attempts to put the situation at rest, some iCloud users continue to experience spam calendar invitations, causing their calendars to be filled with random events.

iOS-Spam-Calendar-Feature.jpg

The situation received widespread coverage in 2016, where Apple said that it was "actively working to address this issue" by "identifying and blocking suspicious senders." Victims are targeted in various ways. The most common method is by receiving a normal iCloud calendar invitation through their calendar app.

Interacting with the invitation, including declining, accepting, or choosing "Maybe," lets the spammer know that the email is valid, so it can continue to be targeted.

Other users are targeted through web pop-ups on potentially malicious or adult websites. Apple has not publicly commented on what specific measures it has taken to solve the issue, but through a video posted by Apple Support, that has so far garnered more than 97,000 views, it has a solution.

The video advises that users, logically, unsubscribe from these spam calendars. The video doesn't offer any insight into what proactive measures users can take to not receive the invitations in the first place.



One measure that some users have found to be helpful is to redirect calendar invitations to their email, rather than an in-app calendar invitation. By redirecting invitations to their email, users can better manage and delete calendar invitations. For more detailed instructions, make sure to check out our how to.

Article Link: iCloud Users Continue to Be Plagued by Calendar Spam
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,566
1,812
I've found Apple's mail/calendar to be weak with iCloud. Rules in mail aren't robust at all and calendar control is too simplified.

Hope they do a 'traditional Apple update' to mail/calednar by keeping it simple but also allowing power-users to dig into it.
 
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pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,160
1,124
Montreal, Canada
Part of the issue is that some users tend to click "OK" to popups without reading them, which is what makes them subscribed to spam calendars in the first place.

Apple could make this less likely simply by respecting their own Human Interface Guidelines.

This is what the modal looks like.

"Cancel" button should be on the left, and "OK" button should be a verb like "Subscribe".

From Apple's HIG:
  • "Cancel buttons should always be on the left."
  • "To the extent possible, use verbs and verb phrases that relate directly to the alert title and message—for example, View All, Reply, or Ignore. Use OK for simple acceptance."
 

Runs For Fun

macrumors demi-god
Nov 6, 2017
960
1,794
Part of the issue is that some users tend to click "OK" to popups without reading them, which is what makes them subscribed to spam calendars in the first place.

Apple could make this less likely simply by respecting their own Human Interface Guidelines.

This is what the modal looks like.

"Cancel" button should be on the left, and "OK" button should be a verb like "Subscribe".

From Apple's HIG:
  • "Cancel buttons should always be on the left."
  • "To the extent possible, use verbs and verb phrases that relate directly to the alert title and message—for example, View All, Reply, or Ignore. Use OK for simple acceptance."
This seems like it might purposely be an exception. With most people being used to taping OK on the right, and the ability for this to be abused, this would seem to cause someone to pause and look at what they're doing and maybe even accidentally taping Cancel.
 

bounty1097

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2014
54
69
New York City
Part of the issue is that some users tend to click "OK" to popups without reading them, which is what makes them subscribed to spam calendars in the first place.

Apple could make this less likely simply by respecting their own Human Interface Guidelines.

This is what the modal looks like.

"Cancel" button should be on the left, and "OK" button should be a verb like "Subscribe".

From Apple's HIG:
  • "Cancel buttons should always be on the left."
  • "To the extent possible, use verbs and verb phrases that relate directly to the alert title and message—for example, View All, Reply, or Ignore. Use OK for simple acceptance."
You nailed it! Hope Apple would make those changes
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,516
2,767
I’ve had this issue in the past. It’s not only tied to sketchy websites. I received spam calendar notices after email address leaks from various sites. There are ways to remove the calendar notices without notifying the sender but it was a bit of a headache a few years ago because my calendar would be full of unending daily spam calendar notices. Thankfully, no problems since after making the recommended iCloud setting changes.
 

ian87w

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2020
3,633
4,824
Indonesia
By sending you event invitations via email. They will pop up in your calendar.
Sure, got that a lot for work. Usually an ics file.
Still, who would be subscribing willingly to a random invite form a random email? I'm genuinely curious. I've been using cloud-based calendaring (eg. Google calendar), and sharing events etc with many peers for a long time, and I have yet to encounter these "spam" events. It's one thing for email since you just get the spam email directly sent to your inbox. But seems like a "spam" calendar requires active participation from the user, which baffles me. Even my non-tech-literate parents know to ignore/delete anything they don't recognise (eg. sms, we get a ton of spam SMS in my country, many form the carriers themselves).
 

pi=e=3

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2021
31
57
The video shows how simple it is to just unsubscribe the calendar (how did one even subscribe to a spam calendar in the first place?).

What else can Apple do?
Creating an option to auto-reject invitations from people who aren't known contacts would be nice.

Sure, got that a lot for work. Usually an ics file.
Still, who would be subscribing willingly to a random invite form a random email? I'm genuinely curious. I've been using cloud-based calendaring (eg. Google calendar), and sharing events etc with many peers for a long time, and I have yet to encounter these "spam" events. It's one thing for email since you just get the spam email directly sent to your inbox. But seems like a "spam" calendar requires active participation from the user, which baffles me. Even my non-tech-literate parents know to ignore/delete anything they don't recognise (eg. sms, we get a ton of spam SMS in my country, many form the carriers themselves).
You don't need to subscribe to them willingly at all. I was barraged with random Russian spam events on my gmail, I had no way of dealing with it shy of completely blocking all events. I wasn't opening or looking at them, they were just popping up in my calendar.
 

ian87w

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2020
3,633
4,824
Indonesia
You don't need to subscribe to them willingly at all. I was barraged with random Russian spam events on my gmail, I had no way of dealing with it shy of completely blocking all events. I wasn't opening or looking at them, they were just popping up in my calendar.
Oh, so you mean it's like Gmail detecting an event in Gmail and automatically add it to your calendar? I guess that would be a problem, but you can turn that feature off. Maybe iCloud doesn't have this switch?
 
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