Friday, July 16, 2004

Please welcome new boy on the block: "spim"

Here's "spim", the little brother of spam, who I'm sure you've already met before. Spim is spam sent over IM, i.e. instant messaging.  As the wider adoption of IM systems by most corporations is a rapidly increasing and hence the number of directories, "the Spam-loaded IMs will jump from 400 million in 2003 to 1.2 billion in 2004, according to a recent report from Palo Alto, Calif.-based research firm Radicati Group Inc. ".   
A Microsoft Corp. spokesman said that "while the vast majority of complaints Microsoft receives [about spam] from its customers regards traditional spam, Microsoft has received complaints about spim as well and is working on a number of initiatives to address the problem."
I must say though that, I'm not truly worried about this phenomenon, at least in the short term. In order to send someone an IM, I need first of all, to have that persons contact. The IM contact is a small file containing information (i.e. signature and encryption public keys) about your unique identity. Furthermore, contacts are shared at your discretion, that is, I choose who I want to share my contact with.  So, if I choose not to list my contact in any public directory, I doubt someone will be able to spim me. ^_^
Also, there may other ways to prevent spim. For instance, I could choose to receive messages only from people who are part of my contacts list.  Also, "when a user adds a new contact, the person being added is notified and offered to decline or accept the invitation."  
Well, I think we can rest in peace so far. Nevertheless, unwanted, not requested, annoying and distracting IMs will soon arrive into your dearest IM client!


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