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Facebook attempting to reduce 'click-baiting headlines' in news feeds

08/25, 4:59pm

User behavior away from site, sharing now determine if feed articles are click-bait

In a blog post from Facebook today, the social media company said that it's trying to improve the News Feed by reducing "click-baiting headlines." The company stated that it wants to help users find posts and links that are interesting, while removing stories that are generally considered spam by people that don't want them to turn up in their feeds.

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Twitter details how it fights off spam with BotMaker anti-spam tool

08/21, 6:43pm

Bot system results in 40-percent spam reduction, rule changes issued in seconds

Social microblogging service Twitter offered details on how it battles with spam on the service, showing off a specialized tool that the company made in the process. BotMaker was built by the team, which has so far been responsible for a reduction of 40 percent "in key spam metrics" since its launch. The company went into spill some of the specifics of its creation, something it needed to make since it offers real-time interactions and an exposed developer API.

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Apple corrects iCloud email glitch, blames spam filters

03/01, 1:42am

Emails with key phrase were being inexplicably deleted

A bizarre glitch has revealed the existence of "pre-filtering" spam deletion algorithms being used by Apple for its iCloud email. The company acknowledged the issue and has since fixed it, but when an iCloud user would attempt to send an email with the phrase "barely legal teens" in the subject, body or title of some kinds of attachments to another iCloud user, the email would not be delivered. Replies to emails with the phrase, or messages sent to non-iCloud users with the phrase, were successfully sent. Unusually, offending messages were deleted rather than simply flagged as spam.

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Google claims victory against account hijackers

02/19, 12:56pm

Algorithms protect against spammers

Google has claimed victory against account hijackers, claiming the number of legitimate accounts compromised by spammers has dropped by 99.7 percent since 2011. The company's latest security protocols have been developed in response to a surge in account hijacking starting in 2010, as cyber criminals began using stolen passwords to distribute spam from legitimate accounts in an attempt to bypass ever strengthening spam filters, according to a blog post from Google security engineer Mike Hearn.

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Civil rights activists release empathy-based Captcha system

10/07, 8:17pm

Test requires responding with correct emotional response

A new captcha system has been released by a Swedish human rights group. The new test by the Civil Rights Defenders activist group uses "human emotion" as part of the check, by asking how a person feels about an event and asking them to type the word that matches from a selection of three.

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Users report iCloud accounts may have been compromised

05/17, 9:41pm

Isolated reports suggest rare breach

A small number of users in the Apple Support Communities have reported that their iCloud e-mail accounts may have been compromised by spammers, even in cases where the user had a strong, randomized password. Reports began flowing in of mostly little-used iCloud accounts sending out spam messages, replies to which alerted users of the problem. Apple has not commented on the issue thus far.

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Twitter sues spammers, spam tool developers

04/05, 9:25pm

Company increasing fight against spam

Twitter has announced that it has filed a lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court against five companies that are claimed to profit from spamming operations. The suit is said to be not limited to just spammers themselves, but also the developers that have created tools that are used to spread bulk marketing messages via the social network.

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T-Mobile apologizes for, scraps Android notification bar ads

03/31, 3:35am

T-Mobile spam Android customers, says mistake

T-Mobile has issued an apology for spamming Android users on its network through their notifications bar. Some Android customers on its network received the ads promoting T-Mobile’s free VIP Zone and noticed them pulling down the notification window. According to the company, the notices were sent inadvertently and were stopped as soon as the company was notified of the problem through user complaints.

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Judge says Google’s spam SMS not ‘free speech’

03/06, 5:50am

Judge paves way for class-action over Disco app

A California judge has rejected an argument put forward by Google’s lawyers that spam SMS messages it sent unsolicited to users are covered under the First Amendment. Google’s lawyers had tried to argue that the SMS messages were nothing more than ‘informative’ and, as such, qualified as free speech. The Judge’s ruling means that a class-action lawsuit can proceed in which the plaintiffs argue that Google breached the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

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'Beta test iPhone 5' scam text messages spotted

02/13, 10:30pm

Users 'test' text messaging in phishing scam

Though most users would be suspicious, a recent scam spam has spread from email and forums to Twitter, Facebook and now text messaging, according to a recent Apple Support forum posting. Users have reported seeing unsolicited texts and social-network posts claiming that "Apple" is seeking 1,000 testers for text messaging on the iPhone 5. The links go to the websites celltestnkeep.com or cellphonetesters.com and ask for email or a text message "code" to sign up.

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Forums: iPod rumors, iPhone ringtones, more

08/15, 6:00pm

Forum roundup iPod rumors

Forum roundup: Rumors about upgrades to the iPod lineup are a recent topic of interest in the MacNN forums where members seem to think that we will see new models by the end of the year. Advice on how to make ringtones for use with the iPhone 3G can be found in this thread started by jorgem4.

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iPhone has phishing, spamming flaws

07/23, 5:55pm

iPhone open to Phishing?

Security researcher Aviv Raff says the iPhone versions of Mail and Safari are vulnerable to URL spoofing, an exploit that could open the door to phishing attacks. Raff says hackers can e-mail specially-designed URL that links to a site that appears to be legitimate. A user might think it is a trusted site like Pay Pal -- but instead the bogus site steals passwords and other information when the user tries to log on. The maliciously crafted URL is (erroneously) recognized by Safari as a "trusted site."

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Sp@mX retired, replaced by Purify

07/06, 4:30pm

Sp@mX replaced by Purify

Hendrickson Software Components has replaced Sp@mX, its spam tracing and reporting utility, with Purify. Purify can filter email, forward validated email, and both trace and report spam. It can support single users or a workgroup from a central computer and its spam-filtering can be used with Hendrickson's email-archiving Compass software. The software works with virtually every email client (Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.), and supports POP, POP SSL, IMAP and IMAP SSL. Purify can filter e-mail using a statistical Bayesian filter, by country of origin and filter, accept, or ignore e-mail based on user-defined phrases. It can also accept e-mail from an imported friends list and forward valid e-mail to an iPhone. Purify filters image spam and e-mail that is not addressed to the user or uses an incorrect proper name, and it will report spammers and phishers to their ISPs. Purify is AppleScript-capable and has been tested on Mac OS X 10.5. Purify costs $30.

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First Look: Personal Antispam X5

03/31, 5:05pm

First Look: Antispam

Nobody likes spam clogging their e-mail accounts. Although nearly every e-mail program comes with its own spam filters, a dedicated spam filter can often work more effectively while giving you greater control. If spam is overwhelming your current e-mail program, consider Intego's Personal Antispam X5. When you first install the software, you can configure it with Mail, Entourage, or both. If you use a different e-mail program, such as Thunderbird, you won’t be able to use X5.

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