Friday, 08 November 2013 17:43

iMessage spam campaign hits Aussie users


Australian users of Apple's iMessage service are among those being allegedly spammed by the developer of a free app.

Spam was identified as a potential problem with Apple's iMessage service over a year ago.

While the company now provides a (rather awkward) spam reporting mechanism, it seems little if anything has been to block spam or to provide users with tools to block unwanted messages short of disabling iMessage completely.

A number of Australian users have recently received iMessage spam apparently originating from the developer of EverCard, a free app for scanning business cards into the contacts list.

EverCard initially received a few positive reviews (curiously all by people who had never reviewed an app before), but sentiment quickly reversed as people started receiving spam messages promoting the app.

A generous interpretation is that someone behind the app was trying to make it 'go viral' - but it seems the messages of recommendation were sent without the express consent of each user.

Some users receiving the spam messages have concluded - rightly or wrongly - that EverCard is mining its users' contacts lists. Although the spam claims the app had just been used to scan the recipient's name card, at least one person that doesn't use such cards has received the offending message.

While the Spam Act covers unsolicited commercial electronic messages sent from overseas to an address accessed within Australia, it is not easy to enforce the Act against companies with no physical presence in or ties to Australia.

There are no contact details for "EverCard Inc" on the business's web page other than an email address and a Twitter link.

The domain appears to have been registered without a street or postal address, and with what appears to be a bogus phone number.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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