Feeds

Spammers latch onto Ping to pump iPhone survey scams

Quick off the mark

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Spammers have been quick off the mark in exploiting Apple's new iTunes social network to punt survey scams.

Ping only launched on Wednesday but is already being deluged with scams and spam messages, some attempting to dupe surfers into wasting their time completing online surveys under the false promise that they stand a chance of receiving a free iPhone in return for their efforts.

The service, built into the latest version of iTunes, gives users the ability to build networks of friends and share musical tastes or make suggestions. It also allows users to post comments, a facility spammers have been quick to latch onto and exploit for their own nefarious purposes.

Survey scams have become endemic on Facebook over recent months. A lack of filtering on Ping means the fraudsters have gained a new forum through which to peddle scams, net security firm Sophos warns.

"Most of the security industry has been pointing out the migration of spam from an email-only venture to blog/forum comments, Facebook, Twitter and other Web 2.0 platforms," writes Chester Wisniewski of Sophos. "But apparently Apple didn't consider this when designing Ping, as the service implements no spam or URL filtering. It is no big shock that less than 24 hours after launch, Ping is drowning in scams and spams."

Oddly, Apple seems to have anticipated a certain degree of mischief, since uploaded profile pictures only appear after approval, a move designed to prevent Ping plumbing the mucky depths of Chatroulette. Apple is likely to be filtering out other forms of offensive content, and these might be tweaks to block spam, according to Wisniewski. In the meantime, Ping users are advised to be wary, especially about suspiciously generous offers.

More details of the Ping spam attacks, including screenshots, can be found in a write-up here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.