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Spam Security Social Networks Apple IT

Spammers Attack Apple's Ping Social Network 85

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) Homepage Journal

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

  • by deniable ( 76198 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:54AM (#33474646)
    What is it with Apple and the network stack? First IOS, now Ping. What's next, GPS for the iPhone called Traceroute?
  • by martyb ( 196687 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:21AM (#33475122)

    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 potential risk exceeds the potential reward, we will continue to have spammers among us. Technological means can go a long way, yes, but given past experience, there always seems to be yet another new way to bypass these controls. Heck, I was on the internet when the first spam message was posted on usenet and saw the huge reaction. Nothing has yet been able to stop it.

    Yikes! It's worse than I thought! I just looked up spam on wikipedia [] and discovered this:

    In the late 19th Century Western Union allowed telegraphic messages on its network to be sent to multiple destinations. The first recorded instance of a mass unsolicited commercial telegram is from May 1864. Up until the Great Depression wealthy North American residents would be deluged with nebulous investment offers.

    Alas, human nature being what it is even though the technology may change, I fear that spam will be with us for a long time to come.

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

    by mangu ( 126918 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:37AM (#33475228)

    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:What jerks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by getNewNickName ( 980625 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:46AM (#33475280)
    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.
  • Re:What jerks (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:27PM (#33476328)

    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 similar: the bosses have shaken hands on it already but when the actual contract comes from FB, it contains some very questionable details...

  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @05:00PM (#33477314)

    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.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.