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Spam hits instant messaging

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Spam, a controversial issue for e-mail, has begun to hit instant messaging (IM) in large quantities, creating a phenomenon called spim. Some industry observers say the crackdown on spam by Internet service providers, lawmakers, and users may have caused marketers to turn to IM. Spim has many of spam's characteristics, including deceptive subject lines and fake sender names. And like spam, many spim messages advertise and link to Web sites for pornography and various services and products, such as low-cost prescription drugs. In addition, some security firms embed their services in proprietary IM clients. Zone Labs has launched two antispim, rule-based, filtering products that, for example, prevent users from clicking through links that might take them to an executable that would let a Trojan horse take over their systems.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 4 )