Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Spam America Online

"Spim" is Latest Online Annoyance 292

Pcol writes "The Washington Post reports that 'Spim,' as people are beginning to call unsolicited instant messages, is the latest sign that online marketers will seek to take advantage of other communication tools, not limiting themselves to spam or pop-up ads. The good news is that it's not easy for spimmers to send unsolicited instant messages. Instant message providers like AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo have a lot of control over their instant message networks, and since they look at their IM offerings as gateway services that help draw customers in to their paid Internet offerings, these firms are already committing resources to making sure the spim problem never reaches the same scale as spam." Even without the providers assistance, many people who use IM systems are smart enough to limit incoming messages to those from their buddy lists. Still, there must be enough of a success rate to move spimmers to continue messaging users.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

"Spim" is Latest Online Annoyance

Comments Filter:
  • by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <> on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:05AM (#7472987) Homepage
    Remember those weblinks you used to get from strangers on ICQ? This is hardly a new and emerging trend.
    • and on irc since god knows when.

      don't get them too much on ircnet though(i stay away from all date/sex/wanabee whatever channels though).

      but when i'm doing quick visits to other networks.. it's more of a rule to get some stupid "hey come check my blog *tsihihihi*" message. mostly they're pathetic..
    • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:25AM (#7473110) Journal
      .. which is why using the 'hide name' feature on AIM or whatever your using solves the problem rather neatly. Anyone who you want to IM with can still IM as long as they know your name, but casual browsers can't see you.
      • I use IM to do customer support with clients and prospective clients. I can't hide myself away without running the possibility of missing somebody. IM is, for me, mission critical and part of that is unfortunately keeping myself wide open.

        Good news is, I don't maintain a profile. I hazard that's where spimmers are harvesting their addresses, because my IM screenname is ALL OVER the website yet none of my work IM accounts has ever gotten. My home account has gotten has a profile, too. There's
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday November 14, 2003 @10:17AM (#7473410)
      it also happens when you show your personal information to anyone on the service. Disable that option (on AIM) and they don't find you.

      Better option yet... Don't let anyone contact you that isn't on your list. If they can't search for you in the first place it won't matter if they can't contact you if they happen across your AIM screen name.
    • by stilwebm ( 129567 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @10:42AM (#7473591)
      ICQ made it slightly easier than other Instant Messaging clients. All you had to do was send a message to UIN's, starting at perhaps 1000 and working up to 10000000 and beyond. Spread it out over several IPs and several days and it's harder to notice. With AIM, Yahoo and MSN, you have to try alphanumerical combinations, increasing the number of possible combinations. I first noticed ICQ spam when installing an early version of LICQ (late 1997 or early 1998 I believe) and telling it to reject messages from users not on my contact list, then checking the logs for rejected messages. The log file grew several kilobytes per week. Windows versions at the time did not log rejected messages.

      Of course they were almost 100% adult sites, mostly people saying "Hi I'm Lolita from Moscow U."
    • not limiting themselves to spam or pop-up ads

      Did anything seriously thought they would? This is hilarious.
  • SPIM (Score:3, Funny)

    by kelceylehrich ( 600264 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:06AM (#7472989)
    But there isn't a hated semi-meat food called spim. The cultural connotation won't be enough for people to hate it. We should call it pork-rhinds.
    • Re:SPIM (Score:3, Funny)

      by DrEldarion ( 114072 )
      I worked at a grocery store for 7 years, and I can tell you that neither spam nor pork-rinds were hated. You'd be VERY surprised at how often they both went through the line. These weren't people who could only afford spam, either, this was in upper-middle-class suburbia.
    • QUIM (Score:2, Funny)

      by dipipanone ( 570849 )
      But there isn't a hated semi-meat food called spim

      I propose the term Quasi-legal Instant Messages.

      It may not be a particularly accurate description of the problem, but it provides us with a great acronym. I'd love to see thousands of people posting:

      'I'm sick and tired of all this quim.'
      'I get far too much quim.'
      'Does anyone have any advice on how I can reduce the volume of my quim []'
  • by Anonymous Coward
    write a program that automatically configures im clients to only accept incoming messages from the buddy list and sell it for 100$!

    problem is, i'll bet someone will actually do that...
    • Or at least, apparently some company did something similar. They'd pop Windows messages up on users' computers every 10 minutes, with offers to sell something to disable these messages for $10 or so. I seem to recall a recent story on Slashdot about this company being hauled into court for this.
      • that was the messenger service not windows messenger, its not the same thing. The messenger service was an rpc service running by default on windows 2000 and XP. People could send messages to any machine just by typing "net send ip.ip.ip.ip blahblahblah" at the command prompt. The spammers used programs to send out thousands of messages against whole ranges of ips.
        The message was more effective because it looked like a windows system dialog rather than an IM message. Messenger service will be disabled by de
    • Isn't this the default behavior of MSN Messenger? I never received a "spim" on Messenger, but I get dozens on ICQ every week.
    • Yeah sure. And in 24 hours it'll be on Kazaa. :)
    • Actually, this might be your chance to patent software! Yes, you too can be your own Jeff Bozo, and patent an obvious software algorithm with tons of prior art!
  • In the past few weeks, that the amount of "spim" on AIM has practically gone from 0 to 5 or 6 a day? Or did they only just find my AIM name?
    • I have ICQ/Messenger/Yahoo at work when at the office and past month, i've been getting 2-3 "spims" from yahoo network.

      It allways starts with a smiley, and it usually stops to that also unless the user receiving the "spim" is "stupid" enough to write a reply.

    • I'm logged into AIM for several hours a day, and I still have yet to get a single "spim". Maybe it's because I have a long and unique username.
    • They must have just found your AIM name ...

      I've been getting spam (spim? No thanks. I'll just call it spam.) on AIM for many months now, from random names. Who's messaged me in the last 24 hours?



  • Locating Spimmers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cronot ( 530669 )
    Wouldn't the nature of Spim (Spam via IM) make it easier for the Spammers to be located? Or could they just use a spoofed address anyway?
    • Given the amount of spam comming in through trojanized or badly configured systems, I guess the same will happen with spim. Its just to easy to use somebody elses resources, no difference for email or im.
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:08AM (#7473011) Journal
    ... it's obviously in someone's best financial interests to make sure it's not a problem, and they have the means to ensure it - if only it were the same with email...

    • I'd say there are many corporations that have a financial interest in stopping email spam.

      In actuality, the big three IM companies have the luxury of developing their own protocols and applications, and to have the opportunity to make changes to their own code and specs to stop SPIM.

      Nothing short of a massive rewrite of the RFCs *and* mass migration to new MTAs compliant with the new RFCs will accomplish the same for SMTP.
    • it's obviously in someone's best financial interests to make sure it's not a problem

      Yeah, and all those ISPs who pays for bandwidth don't have a financial incentive to make sure that spam is not a problem right?

      Spam costs real money.
      • ... Which is why I said 'have the ability to' as well as 'have the incentive to'...

        The ISP's don't own enough of the problem to make a difference to it - they have to rely on others. They are not in control and cannot solve the problem....

  • hrmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by acehole ( 174372 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:09AM (#7473013) Homepage
    So uhm, what's your icq/msn/aim/yahoo!/jabber numbers?

  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:09AM (#7473015) Homepage Journal

    I thought "SPIM" was a PC program that simulates a generic MIPS architecture processor [], used in computer architecture courses in computer science and computer engineering curricula.

    • Yeah, I'm really not looking forward to telling the students in the compilers class I TA that they have to use the Latest Online Annoyance to test their codegen. =)
  • Light on details (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) * on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:11AM (#7473023) Homepage Journal
    This article is pretty light on details. Where do they get your screen name? (I guess handle is out of fashion) Chat rooms I imagine, but has every spimmed person been in a chat room at some point? Or does everyone fill in their name in their UBB forum profiles?

    AOL/AIM seems to have it worst, lots and lots of porn spims. Never had a problem with Yahoo but I remember a /. story [] about spam on MSN.

    Wouldn't it be harder to spam on MSN and Yahoo? Don't they crack down on unauthorized clients, while AIM has the open-source TOC protocol?

    • Where do they get your screen name?

      I'm assuming with ICQ they just run through all numbers from about 5 digits to 9 digits (or whatever ICQ's up to these days). With MSN IM most people use their hotmail address as identifier (because you don't have to go through the process of registering another email with MSN, IIRC). Hotmail addresses are easily obtained, through a variety of methods (guessed, harvested, purchased...). I'm not sure how hard it is to obtain AIM or Yahoo screen names. I don't think it
    • The next section of the article (page 2), if you read at the bottom they mentioned "dictionary attacks". I'm sure it is very easy to do, as there are tons of PHP and PERL modules out there that allow you to connect to a variety of chat protocols....all you need is valid login account.
    • I can't remembber ever getting 'spim' on AIM or Yahoo. ICQ is by far the greatest offender, for years Mirbalis (and then AOL) had NO means whatsoever of ever reporting system abuse like mass messaging
    • I don't know about other networks, but by default AIM lets you look up someone's screen name based on their e-mail address. I'd imagine they're just going though their address lists and checking for screen names for each.

      I never got spim before last week, and then I started getting five or six a day. I've since changed my screen name, and set my preferences so that it can't be looked up by e-mail address. Hopefully they won't be able to find me again.
  • by JamesD_UK ( 721413 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:13AM (#7473029) Homepage

    Well, there's AOL messenger and Yahoo! messenger; AOL messenger MSN messenger and Yahoo! messenger; AOL messenger and spim; AOL messenger Yahoo! messenger and spim; AOL messenger Yahoo! messenger MSN messenger and spim; spim Yahoo! messenger MSN messenger and spim; spim AOL messenger spim spim Yahoo! messenger and spim; spim MSN messenger spim spim Yahoo! messenger spim tomato and spim; spim spim spim AOL messenger and spim; spim spim spim spim spim spim baked IRC spim spim spim......or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried AOL messenger on top and spim...... Well, there's spim AOL messenger MSN messenger and spim, that's not got much spim in it.

    I don't want ANY spim! Seriously though, since when was this news? I remember receiving spam^H^Him years ago in ICQ.
  • ... my aol IM get forwarded to my phone when I'm not online. That's when it gets really annoying... Anyone know a way to stop this?
    • Turn your phone off. I'm curious though, why would you need IM's that bad?

      Disconnect, take a shower, read a book, you don't have to be *connected* round the clock, if some friend needs you that bad, use your phone the way it was designed and have them call you.

      • Turn your phone off. I'm curious though, why would you need IM's that bad?

        For that exact reason. The phone is not an ideal medium for communicating with many people, especially if you live halfway accross the country/world from them. Maybe you have the cash to pay for long-distance charges everytime you want to chat about every little thing with someone, but most people don't.

        Disconnect, take a shower, read a book, you don't have to be *connected* round the clock, if some friend needs you that bad, use
  • ICQ? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Dunarie ( 672617 )
    Jeeze, anyone that has left ICQ running for more than an hour has gotten "spim", since the "spimmers" can do just like telemarketers do, and go through the numbers untill they get someone. I remember getting a really 'sexy' spim message one time while I was away, my dad nearlly grounded me thinking it was someone I knew that I cybered with. :(
    • I've been using ICQ for years, I get 1 "spim" per month, max. So, basically, none at all. Maybe being invisible most of the time helps.
  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:16AM (#7473045)
    I have AIM set to only allow people on my buddy list to contact me. If you're not on it, to you it looks like I'm offline. Not possible to get "spim" this way, unless it's one of my friends sending it.

    The only problem comes when someone that's NOT on my buddy list wants to talk to me. Usually it's not a big deal, they can just e-mail me and I'll add them to the list later. It is somewhat inconvenient, but better than getting 10 IMs a day telling me to go to porn sites.

    There's a middle ground, which is asking for your authorization before it shows the IM window, but I never found this to help - it was always too tempting just to click the "see message" button to see what they were sending me. So that didn't really help much.
    • >but better than getting 10 IMs a day telling me to go to porn sites.

      You: Daily free p0rn delievered to you at home is a intrusive irritation.

      Me: Daily free p0rn delievered to you at home is one of the benefits of the Internet.
    • See, what I prefer is the Trillian plugin I've got that offers a challenge/response for anyone not on my buddy list, and it is completely customizable.

      Mine just says "What is my first name?"
      If they get it correct, they can send me a message. Wrong, and they can't... Pretty simple.

      Now, if someone does a dictionary attack on me and brute-forces their way to my name, I'm in trouble...
    • Buyviagra@spamsite.web
      would like to chat with you. Accept [Y/N]?
  • User reporting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aneurysm ( 680045 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:17AM (#7473051)
    Last year I had a lot of spam from users on AIM, it stopped after a while, but I got a few a day for a few weeks, before it tailed off. I haven't had an unsolicited message now for over a year. The point was that the ignore lists didn't work, because although it was presumably the same spammer, or group of spammers, the screen name was never the same twice. I think what programs like AIM need is a one click button, that marks the person as a spimmer. If say 5 or 10 DIFFERENT people mark the same user they could be marked as a spimmer, and AIM could be set up to automatically ignore IM's from spimmers. Very similar to the warning level, but subtely different, because the warning level controls the spimmmers send rate, whereas this method puts the control in the hands of the people on the recieving end. You could also allow people to alter the spimmer level they accept messages from.
    • MSN prevents this. In order to send messages to someone, you need to be on their list. Otherwise you have to send a request to them, asking permission to do so. I used to get lots of Icq 'spim', but have never had a problem on MSN.
  • by AVee ( 557523 ) <> on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:17AM (#7473052) Homepage
    Email spam is getting filtered and blocked more and more by email users and ISP's. Gives a lot of hassle. This makes email more and more a ineffective medium for spammer. The people that don't have their email filtered are switching to IM because the anount of spam they get with email.
    It's sad, but just logical that spammers will switch to IM. We should stop trying to stop spammers by technological means, they will find ways around it or we will end op with a hardly usable messaging system. What we should do is find ways of taking the profit away from them. Either by educating people not to by spamvertized products, by sueing their ass off or just 'SlashDot' them in some dark alley. As long as it possible to make profit from spam ther will be spammers...
    • What we should do is find ways of taking the profit away from them. Either by educating people not to by spamvertized products, by sueing their ass off or just 'SlashDot' them in some dark alley. As long as it possible to make profit from spam ther will be spammers...

      This is what I've been preaching for a while to anyone that will listen. Spamming is around for one reason, and one reason only. "It works" How do we stop it, simple... We break it.
  • by dgenr8 ( 9462 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:21AM (#7473071) Journal

    SHAM = Commercial messages delivered via amateur radio
    SPANK = Commercial TV in the classroom
    SPUD = Commercial crop circles, especially in potato fields
    SPELUNK = Advertisements on cave walls
  • not smart vs dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kisrael ( 134664 ) * on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:21AM (#7473080) Homepage
    Even without the providers assistance, many people who use IM systems are smart enough to limit incoming messages to those from their buddy lists.

    Yeah, but it's not a matter of smart vs. dumb; it's also concerned about SPIM enough to take that kind of step vs. wanting to be open to chatting to new people. Part of the promise of the Internet is making NEW interpersonal connections, and having to establish contact outside the communication form in question is a huge drag.

    I suppose there might be some tag that lets you launch AIM or whatever via a browser, but luckily it's not used as much as mailto: , so it's less trivial to harvest these addresses. Also, since userids are generally small, and don't come bundled in some obviously reg-exable form like URLs and email addresses do, there is less harvesting going on.

    I've been using AIM (hi, I'm kirkjerk) since the late 90s, and only every once in a while is there any SPIM. There was a time when I'd get one or two a day (suspiciously, generally right after I came back from idle) but now its one or two a month. When I tried ICQ in the late 90s, it was more of a steady flow.
  • Obviously... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scovetta ( 632629 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:21AM (#7473081) Homepage
    You have how many users on AIM and Yahoo combined? 50 million? I don't know, but it has to be around that many. Even if 1% allow IMs from "anyone", that's a nice target base. Not to mention that, but the harvesting of IM-screen-names is starting to become serious-- how many times have you clicked on a link in someone's profile? That damned %n may be the death of us all. Of course, the answer is to just not allow IMs from people off of your list, but this just goes to show that we NEED some legislation that will take the "low-risk" out of sp[ai]mming. California has done a good start, but we need something to start with. Yes, I know that sp[ai]mmers are acting in many ways illegally, but there isn't much precedent for me tracking down a spammer by affiliate ID on a V1agra site and suing him. Maybe that's all we need...
  • AIM has "Warn" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harks ( 534599 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:21AM (#7473082)
    Could this problem be solved with use of the "Warn" feature? Spimmers could change their screen name and keep spimming, but the warn feature could be changed to warn an IP? If it already does, just warn the spimmers and they won't be able to send out messages nearly as massively as email spammers.
    • Could this problem be solved with use of the "Warn" feature? Spimmers could change their screen name and keep spimming, but the warn feature could be changed to warn an IP? If it already does, just warn the spimmers and they won't be able to send out messages nearly as massively as email spammers.

      No, this will punish the innocent - just like blacklisting whole IP blocks does. I'm sure the anti-spam zealots will say that's collateral damage and tough shit, but unless each ISP guarantees that the same user

      • No, this will punish the innocent - just like blacklisting whole IP blocks does.

        I don't think adding Warn IP" is a good idea either but the current Warn feature based on screen name is time dependent. Warnings eventually expire so a user can't be permanently blacklisted.

        FAQ about Warnings []

        I think IM clients should have their default set to allow IMs from Buddies only. I think this is the best option for the large majority of IM users. For those who want or need to receive IMs from unknown people, they
    • Eh, think about all the compromised/trojanned boxes out there currently. If they all have a unique login already (or create one on the fly) whats to stop them? Its kind of sad though, because as a previous poster mentioned, he configured his IM to accept only people on his list....Seems like on the Internet, we are continuously closing our "circle of wagons" so to speak, ever tighter. I wish counties would be a little more heavy handed in nailing these bastards and their invasions into our privacy.
  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:25AM (#7473106)
    frankly, i never thought that the MIPS Simulator was that much of a headache. I mean, the instruction set was pleasantly simple.. a toy, really.
  • The next generation of this is an advanced elizabot to spam you on IM. The next generation after that is a highly advanced AI bot that you can't tell is not human. (No need for the kind of strong AI that would pass a turing test, however. The standard on an IM network is rather lower.)

    I can't wait!
  • I thought here invitation to check out here personal web site was a big come one. Sure the request for a Visa card seemed kind of strange, but then other girl friends I have had ask for my Visa card.

  • counter-spamming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <> on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:31AM (#7473137) Homepage Journal
    I currently still think that the best way to counter spam, right now, is to attack their business model. Right now, that consists of convincing poeple to actually start responding to spam by providing them with bogus infomation (random addresses and phone numbers, void (old or auto-generated) credit cards, etc/).

    My idea is to drown them in bogus data so that they spend more time and money responding to bogus responses than they would with old-fashioned cold calling. It would also remove the advantage of increasing spamming volume because the spammer with the highest volume would also get the most garbage responses.


    • sure; call their toll free numbers... repeatedly... speaking in a thick accent... if it's an automated answering service, why, just keep on calling. It's your right to call this number; they gave it to you and invited you to call. No fraud or broken laws here.

      If they have a web site, feel free to click on it... many many times. I enjoy visiting certain websites like and I click on them many times a day. Perfectly legitimate. If someone is offering me a way to live longer, enlarge my breas
  • "Still, there must be enough of a success rate to move spimmers to continue messaging users." I disagree. There must only be enough perception of a success rate for the spammers to be able to charge advertisers a rate high enough for them to turn a profit. Such throwaway comments only add to what is a growing problem. Darnit! I've gone and done it now!
  • I have been getting "spims" for about 3-4 month now (on and off, with on being a couple a day). It's not always obvious that the incoming message is a spim based on the user name because they are generally names like sarahB1742 and not (not trying to make a joke, just prove a point).

    And finally, how do you run an IM "spim" filter? I don't want to only allow my buddy list to contact me, because there are times when a friend of a friend may IM me. Plus, unlike e-mail, th
  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:48AM (#7473239) Homepage
    Today SCO announced the SPIM is a derivative work using the login that they SPIM begins with the letter 'S' (just like SCO). Darl McBride CEO of SCO announce that they would not take this lightly and were planning on sending threatening letters to anyone who sends or receives SPIM and to anyone with a name that begins with 'S'.

    Boycott SCO and SPIM! []
  • Maybe it's an issue for AOL users, who technically foot the bill for AIM, but I've never paid a dime for the IM services I use, so I'm not concerned. ICQ has an "authorization required" feature, and I guess AIM has something similar, so at least there's a kinda sorta fix for the end user. Of course, I wouldn't want to be the service provider playing host to free advertising on my tab.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @09:56AM (#7473294)
    Network providers could prevent Spim by letting IM recipients the power to bill or stall a Spimmer's account. For closed subscriber-only networks, the network provider could give IM users a "bonk-that-IMer" button. Each time a Spim appears and the recipient hits the "bonk" button, the Spimmer's account gets a $0.25 charge or is prevented from sending another IM for 30 secs or a minute.

    Billing Spimmers would be a good way to raise revenues, but would be a nightmare for anyone whose account was highjacked. Stalling a spimmer's account might be a better way to make spim too labor-intensive to be useful (although maybe spimmers would just outsource to India or China and pay people $1/day to slowly send spims).
  • Even AOL Spims!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mokolabs ( 530326 )
    A few weeks ago, I got spimmed by someone promoting the new version of AOL 9.0.

    Sadly, I deleted the chat log just a few days ago, but here's a rough recollection of my conversion with AOL's marketing gimp:

    archer97: downloaded 9.0 yet?
    mokolabs: nope
    archer97: it's pretty sweet
    archer97: check it out
    mokolabs: no thanks
    archer 97: it's a big upgrade
    mokolabs: do i know you?
    archer97: lol
    archer97: no

    Has anyone else run into this? I'd love to spin this story back at AOL (who apparently approves of spim as long it'
  • I got ads for porn on ICQ circa 1998 along with ads for other products as well, but it seemed to be mainly porn. This is not new other than it appears to just now beginning to affect the other platforms. Also, I've had problems with MSN messanger as well. Not with AIM though. At least not yet...
  • I've always wondered why IM tools such as GAIM don't offer filtering the same way email clients do. The msgs are very obvious and a combination of name, msg body and exempting my buddy list would stop most of them. An icon that lit at the bottom of the budy list when you received a blocked IM would be all you would need. Click it and see blocked IM's, otherwise ignore them.
    • well it sounds like a pretty straightforward feature to add; just examine the incoming message header and compare the sender's name with a local buddy list. Gaim hasn't yet implemented Y!Messenger's blocking feature so spim just comes right through, messages from people like "naked_19" etc. If I had the time I'd do it myself.

      The worst part is that it's so intrusive. Unsolicited email just goes into my junk mail bin, stuck to my procmail filters like a fly to flypaper. But these instant messages pop up
  • by Erwos ( 553607 )
    My first thought was, how is a MIPS emulator annoying anyone?

    Actually, this is some bad news for the SPIM project, since now their name will be associated with something bad.

  • I know that there are existing regulations against telemarketers calling cell phones...shouldn't there also be regulations about IM'ing mobile device users? After all, I have to pay for each text message I receive after I use my free allotment each month...It would be annoying to start getting spammed on my cell phone.
  • They already have a way to filter automatic signups... a person has to be present in order to create an account... so if you can bring the level of personal interaction required to an amount where a person can make more money working for minimum wage, the problem takes care of itself. I myself, when I get spim, immediately put the person on ignore.

    If someone has twice as many ignores than friends, then you throttle their messages down to one an hour. Spimmers are not likely to have a huge friend list, an
  • There's tons of sites out there offering "buddy services" like buddy dating, enhanced AIM profiles, aim forwarding, etc.

    AimBuddy [] might be a good starting point if you actually want to get into that stuff.

    Anyway, all these people (especially highschool & college kids) are putting their IM names out to these sites and I'm betting atleast 1 of the sites is buying/selling screennames like mad.

    • I'm sure they harvest from places like /. as well.

      I've been getting "botted" lately. It's where you'll get this message that says something like:

      "I liked what sent me"

      You reply and it says:

      "So what are you up to?"

      Based on your reply - it will "sense a mood" but the reply won't make any sense

      Then it sends a link saying you've been talking to a bot - download it (link)

      I think a way to stop some IM spam or SPIM, as this article is calling it, is to prevent URLs from IMs. That way, if someone were get

  • Which is why I stopped using it and started using AIM. Of course, the inherent flaw with ICQ was that the UIDs were sequential and not spread out at all. Of course, there was spim, and then there were the morons that forwarded the "ICQ IS GOING TO START CHARGING.." messages.
  • SPIM?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ndogg ( 158021 ) <<the.rhorn> <at> <>> on Friday November 14, 2003 @11:15AM (#7473825) Homepage Journal
    I know that MIPS assembly [] can be tough to learn, but never thought CS students would ever get to the point of annoying people on the internet with it...

    Oh, err, nevermind...
  • I'm surprised (fFor some reason... these are windows users afterall) at how many people get these NET SEND messages. of course they have no idea how to turn the messenger service off, either.

    fFor those who have no idea what i'm talking about: on win2k/XP, you can send messages across a network by knowing only the recipient's net address, using a command prompt: NET SEND [IP.addr] [message text] it's slightly anonymous, if done right. and of course, i can send a message to you on your, say, dialup mode
  • Flashback... (Score:2, Informative)

    by buddha42 ( 539539 )
    One thing is for sure, if they could get the spim's out, they would work.

    digging deep into my 14-year-old-loser-in-his-parents-basement history, I remember the days when you could run a "phish"ing program in AOL. It would scrape the screen names from a couple dozen chat rooms, and mass-IM them a message saying "AOL billing has lost your password, just reply with it or your account will be disabled". I know we're talking about aol-ers here, but those retards would reply about 1 in 50. Eventually AOL add

  • by Kjella ( 173770 )
    I got a less than 1M number on ICQ, and I remember getting SPAM there too, from at least as early as when 5-6M was the latest sign-ups. This would be years and years ago before anyone used MSN.

    Sure, it might be on the rise, but this isn't news, any more than "Usenet getting SPAM" or "Email getting SPAM". If they're starting to deploy counter-measures now, it's a sign that it is becoming unbearable - not that IMs have less SPAM than e-mail. Whitelisting (i.e. buddy-list only) is much more common on IMs than
  • For those of you that still want to let anyone talk to you, and not have SPIM, trillian pro offers a nice challenge/response solution. The other person/bot must pass the challenge before their IM's will be seen by you It lets you configure your own challenge: tml I will AIM/GAIM had this.. I should look around for the gaim solution..

Trap full -- please empty.