Spammers discover iMessage

One of the business users’ favorite smart phones is becoming jammed with messaging spam. According to an article on, the iPhone’s iMessage platform has been discovered by people you don’t know, and don’t want to know.

As author Robert McMillan notes, iMessage links iPhone, iPad and the Mac OS laptop and desktop computers. That makes it easy for spanners to write a Mac OS script that can send messages to all four platforms.

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” he quotes a staffer who works for an anti-spam provider as saying. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want.”

While in Canada there is anti-spam legislation, that impacts those sending spam from within the country. And, as the report points out, because iMessage is an Apple network, your carrier can’t do anything about spam carried on it.

There is a way to report iMessage spammers to Apple, but it involves emailing a screenshot of the message, the date and time it was sent and the phone number or email address of the spammer. It isn’t quick, but to be fair to Apple it does give them solid evidence it needs to go after a sender.

Apple has clamped down on the rate hackers can push messages over its network so iMessage can no longer be overwhelmed.

Usually a spammer needs a subscriber’s phone number to leverage iMessage, but if they have hacked a message from a user which includes an email address, that can be used as well.

Meanwhile, McMillan advises users who are getting a lot of spam to turn off iMessage alerts from people who aren’t in your contacts list. You do it by going to Settings/Notification Center/Messages/Show Alerts from My Contacts.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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