• United States
Senior Editor

Spim city

Feb 09, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalware

* Spam finds another way to wreak havoc, instant messaging spam - or spim

This week our Special Focus takes a look at an increasingly annoying problem: Instant messaging spam – or spim.

Our author ( says spim isn’t nearly the headache that e-mail spam has become, largely because instant messaging isn’t as ubiquitous as e-mail in corporate settings and IM spammers are easier to catch due to the closed nature of IM networks.

The thing is, experts predict that unwanted instant messages have the potential to wreak just as much havoc as spam. For example, researchers at Radicati report that 26% of companies are using IM as a corporate service, and 44% say employees use IM but it isn’t a company standard.

And as corporate use of IM rises, so does the potential for abuse. With the most popular consumer IM services – namely those from AOL, Microsoft’s MSN and Yahoo – available for free, all spammers need is a list of screen names to start clogging these systems with unwanted messages.

Granted, it’s much harder today to flood networks with instant messages than with e-mail, since bulk mailing tools and lists of user names aren’t readily available to IM spammers. But some say it’s just a matter of time.

For more on this story see: