According to research done by security expert Tom Landesman and anti-spam company Cloudmark, iMessage is responsible for more than 30% of all spam messages on mobile devices.
There are several reasons why this platform has become a spammer’s haven. Mainly however, it is the ease and accessibility the spammers have with iMessage as it is used across the board from iPads, MacBooks and iPhones.
It is easy for spammers to send messages to user’s email and phone numbers with iMessage. iMessage’s read receipts feature enable spammers to better generate a list of verified users to spam based on activity. Also, the ability for the desktop Messages client to verify numbers with the iMessage network has made sending spam to confirmed users so quick and easy. This is further aggravated with the fact that signing up for the service can be done with just an email.
“That fusion of the desktop and mobile world makes it particularly easy for scammers to write a Mac OS script that can send messages to all types of devices just as fast as Apple will allow. “It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want.”
Apple however, has not taken this silently and has tried continuously to fight spamming on iMessage. It has added a rate-limit for sent messages after some iOS developers experienced a denial-of-service prank, and adding a spam reporting tool. However, the company has made it way too complicated for Apple users to access as it requires users to send Apple an email containing the screenshot of the spam message, the email or phone number it was received from, and the date and time.