Feeds

Spammers latch onto Ping to pump iPhone survey scams

Quick off the mark

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.