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Spam Security Social Networks Apple IT

Spammers Attack Apple's Ping Social Network 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the strict-inevitabilities dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scammers and spammers have deluged the new Ping musical social network, created by Apple and built into the new version of iTunes. Sophos researchers have found that Ping is being overrun by scams and spam messages. 'Apple seems to have anticipated a certain degree of malfeasance, as profile pictures that you upload will not appear until approved by Apple. They are likely filtering for other offensive content as well, so they probably have means in place they could use to stop the spam.' It's ironic that the most common scams on Ping right now revolve around Apple's own iPhone." The Sophos blog post adds that Apple is doing their best to clamp down on the spam, manually deleting many of the offending messages for now. Reader Tootech adds that Facebook integration was quickly disabled, possibly because of blocked API access.
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Spammers Attack Apple's Ping Social Network

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  • by 3seas (184403) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:32AM (#33474546) Journal

    ...disease that has not yet been recognized much less treated.

  • Irony.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moridin42 (219670) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:37AM (#33474572)

    Do you know it, mofo? No. You do not. It is not ironic that apple hardware (iphones) is being used to entice people into a scam on apple software. Especially when the software is what you use to keep your iphone up to date.

    Perhaps if they were scamming you into buying music for a zune, we could talk irony.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We need to invent a new word for the people who keep abusing ironic. Otherwise irony is going to have a different meaning in 10 more years. Teaching them what irony actually means is hopeless. Ditto for literally... except that 'literally' is already a lost cause, and irony isn't (yet).
  • Ping? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mangu (126918) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:41AM (#33474598)

    Is that one of those sites that try to profit from the misspellings? [bing.com]

  • I doubt if there is anyone left who thinks that offers of v1gra and riches from Nigerian princes are real opportunities. Can they really still be profitable? I'm sure that botnets and programs are still popular, but do they really generate real profits from unwitting users, or are the only people feeding such enterprises are those who attempt to profit from it. I'm guessing that many if not most of the victims actually know that someone is getting ripped off, but think that it's themselves who will come

    • by tnk1 (899206) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:53AM (#33474642)

      The cost of sending mass emails is still so low that even if they get one sucker a week out of millions of messages sent, it is still profitable, and honestly, they probably get more than that.

      Its easy for us to sit back and laugh at these situations, but there are still plenty of people out that who are unaware of what happens out on the wider Internet.

      Its not going to last forever, but it will probably last longer than we would expect.

      • by rednip (186217)

        but there are still plenty of people out that who are unaware of what happens out on the wider Internet.

        Do you honestly think that there is anyone who has been on the internet longer than a day who's unfamiliar with spam? Sure if there was just one or a hundred pushing such scams, maybe the market could still be fruitful, but there are thousands or more

        My postulate is not that there isn't any money in spam, just that the only people making any real money are those who sell services to people willing to 'invest' in such 'businesses'.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          In this way, I think that spam filtering has hurt the Internet. People will rely on it over-much -- meaning that something gets past the spam filters, there is possibly a significant subset of the Internet-using population who will assume it's legit. (In this case, significant only needs to be a fraction of a percent for this to be very profitable.)

          That being said, one possibility I've wondered about is that while people are paying spammers to do their thing (thus ensuring the spammers a profit), it

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by coryking (104614) *

            Spam filters may have hurt the Internet for the reason you state... But the alternative is wading through an inbox (or webforum, blog, etc) that is 99.999% spam.

            Of the servers I've dealt with, something. Like 98% of the raw smtp traffic was spam. Without spam filters, the Internet would be unusable.

            • I'm thinking without effective spam filters, a more reliable method of email security and sender identification would have been standardized years ago.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        Its not going to last forever, but it will probably last longer than we would expect.

        You could say the same things about real life, but we've seen how that turns out. The Nigerian 419 scams are not new, not by a long shot. Con men have been using that one for almost 200 years, the scam is better known as "The Spanish Prisoner" [wikipedia.org] where the con pretends to be in correspondence with a wealthy individual imprisoned in Spain and then promises to return a large sum of money in exchange for fronting up a smaller s

    • by kantos (1314519)
      you are making the assumption that that is the sole goal of the spammers... I don't think that is a safe assumption. Nor do I think that it is safe to assume that people won't get suckered by it anyway.
      • by rednip (186217)
        Late every night on TV you find dozens of commercials for 'get rich quick businesses', all of them give testimonials about how quick and easy it was to make money. Do you believe them as well? One should note that they rarely claim to be successful from their efforts directly, just the people who do business with them who make that claim. It's legal cover if they don't claim that they make money themselves. Those other people may lie, but good luck finding them, and they didn't sell you anything (that y
    • by Quarters (18322) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:59AM (#33474676)

      I doubt if there is anyone left who thinks that offers of v1gra and riches from Nigerian princes are real opportunities.

      Do you just have a feeling that people stopped being stupid or can you cite a specific date and time you saw the majority of humanity show some shred of intellect over greed?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kilrah_il (1692978)

      Why do you say these offers are unreal? I got a this pill by mail and now my erection is never ending (both time-wise and length-wise), which goes well with all the boatloads of money I got from this nice guy in distress who mailed me the other day. If you want more details, contact me at ******** (In order to view the contact information, you are requested to send 100$ to the following bank acco#%$# - *** Transmission Blocked ***.

      • now my erection is never ending (both time-wise and length-wise)

          I like being able to fit inside cars and houses thanks.

        Perhaps you can have a new career as the words first space elevator support.

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:29AM (#33474812) Homepage Journal

      If they didn't turn a profit, they wouldn't be out there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by martyb (196687)

        If they didn't turn a profit, they wouldn't be out there.

        True, but I would argue that it's worse than that; it's a matter of PERCEPTION:

        If they didn't THINK they COULD turn a profit, they wouldn't be out there. Right or wrong, the perceived reward to the perceived risk is such that many continue to attempt it. As you say, some likely do turn a profit. Of those that do not, and close up shop, there are still others who think THEY CAN, and set up shop to start spamming. And so the spamming continues.

        Until such time as those who might spam conclude the potentia

        • Join the Confederates Stop Stick it to the Norhern Bastards Stop Free Girls Too

          (The historical accuracy of this simulation was compromised by the Lameness Caps filter. To learn more about the Lameness Caps filter near you, write a post that requires large numbers of capital letters. Some restrictions apply. See post error messages for details.)

      • A matter of margins (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mangu (126918)

        If they didn't turn a profit, they wouldn't be out there.

        True. The problem with digital commerce is that advertising cost is *extremely* low, even more so if they use spambots.

        When your cost is zero, any sale turns a profit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        If they didn't turn a profit, they wouldn't be out there.

        Correction: They want to turn a profit and SPAM is a cheap way to attempt that.

        The difference is that it doesn't matter if anybody buys it or not, the SPAM's already gone out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Patch86 (1465427)

        What else are you going to do with the massive botnet between big decrypt or password cracking jobs?

        It could well be just what they do on idle. If it gets 1 hit in a million, it would still be more profitable than letting your 100 thousand hacked machines sit there doing nothing for hours at a time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I doubt if there is anyone left who thinks that offers of v1gra .... are real opportunities

      What makes you think they aren't? You realize that a lot of these online pharma stores do in fact sell pharmaceuticals, right? Of course if you buy them you might get dosages too strong, too weak, or sold alongside other things that can kill you, but they do sell Viagra! One reason the "Canadian Pharmacy" is everywhere is because they have built up brand recognition amongst casual/recreational users of ED drugs, so th

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Unfortunately yes. There are still morons waiting to be fleeced [couriermail.com.au]
      • by pyrosine (1787666)
        *shakes head* That she still believes she is not gullible is ridiculous.. On a side note, how is it that the author managed to write about scamming and then went on to something about reporting hackers? Made me do a double take
    • Can they really still be profitable?

      Spammers are paid before any profit is gained or lost. You don't actually need people buying stuff for spam services to be purchased, you just need people trying to sell or scam shit.

  • What is it with Apple and the network stack? First IOS, now Ping. What's next, GPS for the iPhone called Traceroute?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      What is it with Apple and the network stack? First IOS, now Ping. What's next, GPS for the iPhone called Traceroute?

      Nah, it's gonna be their "Geo-Locate Caller" service: TRON.

  • What jerks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Posting=!Working (197779) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:26AM (#33474788)

    "Steve Jobs complained to me about what he called "onerous terms" that Facebook had demanded for the friends connection "

    I mean, here Apple is, just minding it's own business trying to build an application to replace facebook, and facebook won't give them all their user data for nothing? What jerks. How dare they put restrictions on it like that? Who do they think they are, trying to stay in business after Apple told them it's not their turn anymore?

    I don't see any compelling reason that facebook would ever give their friends lists to Apple. Is there even a theoretical benefit for facebook in doing so?

    • Re:What jerks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rjch (544288) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:36AM (#33474844) Homepage

      "Steve Jobs complained to me about what he called "onerous terms" that Facebook had demanded for the friends connection "

      Steve Jobs is hardly in a position to be able to complain about "onerous terms" being placed on people. How many pages is the EULA for that abortion iTunes up to? 103? It's over a hundred...

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Lars T. (470328)

        Steve Jobs is hardly in a position to be able to complain about "onerous terms" being placed on people. How many pages is the EULA for that abortion iTunes up to? 103? It's over a hundred...

        The PDF [apple.com] is 79 pages, some of them empty - and that's for the EULA in 18 languages. IOW, nope.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          What gets me is how the terms seem to change every time there's an update anymore.

          You wanna get this weeks update for AirVideo? Please sign your soul away now...

          • Most updates bring new functionality, new EULA is used to cover the terms of new functionality. I do not see a problem here.

        • Re:What jerks (Score:4, Informative)

          by vux984 (928602) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:15PM (#33476232)

          Try downloading a free app on your iphone. They force an itms EULA on you there too. And yes its over 100 "pages" there.
          100+ pages of eula to obtain a free app is stupid.

    • ED ZACHARY
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      I don't see any compelling reason that facebook would ever give their friends lists to Apple. Is there even a theoretical benefit for facebook in doing so?

      They will see the reason once the check arrives to purchase them.

      • A cash payment from a new competitor for the data they need to be successful? This is like Google selling their search algorithms (not just the search results) to Microsoft. The price would need to be insanely high, or involve facebook getting or controlling Apple's data, too (which seems to me to likely be the onerous terms mentioned.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Do we even know what type of integration was proposed? I can see a lot of benefit for Facebook to receive additional traffic from iTunes users. I imagine that they wanted a cut from iTunes sales that Apple was not willing to give.
      • by Cwix (1671282)

        Im willing to bet there are very few iDevice owners who are not on Facebook already. I see no real benefit to Facebook, they would just be contributing to their own demise.

        Warning Joke:

        I dont know who to root for.. facebook or apple.. I dislike both of them. I kinda hope they collide and their combined mass causes them to implode. /endjoke

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He may be a jerk but he might be right this time: I work for a large company that has a software product that would _really_ benefit from interoperability with Facebook. The feature has been implemented months ago but the lawyers won't let us put it out: the terms Facebook offers are not something we can live with -- without going to details I can tell you it's not a question of money, it's a question of control.

      There are two sides on every coin of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if the situation was si

      • And what benefit does your product have for facebook? It's their data you want, they can put whatever price or terms they want. Unless your product adds significant value to facebook, why would they give it to you?

        When faced with a seller that doesn't need to sell to you, the price and terms can be dictated by them. If you can't meet them, it's no big deal to the seller. They don't need you to be successful.

        Facebook doesn't even need Apple for anything. 160 million iTunes users sounds great, until you

  • Dear Apple: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binaryspiral (784263) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:28AM (#33474808)

    Please remove the current iTunes codebase from the life-support you insist on keeping it on. Let the craplication die already, its brain is already dead.

    Rewrite it, buy another developer, or open the damn platform so someone else can do it.

  • Ah... (Score:3, Funny)

    by game kid (805301) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:39AM (#33474868) Homepage
    I see Apple has the machine that goes "spam egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam"!
  • Ironic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dangitman (862676) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:44AM (#33474900)

    It's ironic that the most common scams on Ping right now revolve around Apple's own iPhone.

    The author might want to look up the definition of irony, because I'm pretty sure this is the opposite.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:45PM (#33475670)

    Apple is having a problem with a new online service? This is inconceivable! Considering the outstanding quality and value that is MobileMe and the unprecedented popularity of iWork.com, I am shocked, shocked, that Apple would have difficulty managing a new online service.

  • by domulys (1431537) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:45PM (#33475672)
    As Ben Folds recently discovered, some artists have seen Ping accounts set up -- in their name -- without their knowledge or consent.

    http://twitter.com/BenFolds/status/22830984597 [twitter.com]
    http://twitter.com/BenFolds/status/22840802922 [twitter.com]

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