Instant message spam is getting more disruptive

Thursday, 22 January 2004, 10:57 AM EST

Claudia Siegel is annoyed. As a member of the global systems team at human-resource consulting firm DBM, part of business-information provider Thompson Corp., she uses Lotus Sametime instant messaging over a VPN to do her work. When operating outside the safety of her VPN, she, like her colleagues, occasionally receives unsolicited commercial instant messages.

"They're usually messages to get them to stop what they're doing--'Buy our software and you won't get this any longer,'" she explains. "It's a minor annoyance to me, but it's troubling because I don't know what capabilities this person has on my system or on our network."

Marketers have never seen a medium they didn't want to exploit. So it is that spam has come to instant messaging--yielding IM spam, or spim. It's been around a few years, but only in the past few months has it reached the threshold of disruption.

By Thomas Claburn at Security Pipeling.

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