Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Social networking spam

Social networking spam is spam directed at users of internet social networking services such as MySpace. Users of social networking services can send notes, that may include embedded links to other social network locations or even outside sites, to one another.

This is where the social network spammer comes in. Utilizing the social network's search tools, he/she can target a certain demographic segment of the users, and send notes to them from an account disguised as that of a real person. Such notes typically include embedded links to pornographic or other product sites designed to sell something. As of 2006, spamming software such as FriendBot is available to automate this process.

Unfortunately for victims, until recently no filters were available for MySpace notes. The best a MySpace user could do was block notes from the sender's address. MySpace now includes an option for users to “report spam/abuse” addresses. Spammers, however, frequently change their address from one throw-away account to another.

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