iCloud Allows for a New Kind of Spam

Many iPhone users found themselves the victims of persistent spam calendar notifications this last week. All thanks to iCloud!

“No one understands the cloud”

Well, that’s not quite true. The cloud should be fairly well understood by now. At least by most of us. Most of us utilize cloud services of one type or another daily. From Dropbox to Box to Amazon Cloud, even to our various personal cloud solutions, they all seem to work fairly simply. Upload what you want, download what you want, back up what you want. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Unless the cloud is the iCloud. Then things get tricky. From the most famous breach of some famous people’s photos, to the not so encrypted storage of messages that are supposed to be encrypted, the iCloud would not be my first choice for a cloud service. Or second. Or even third.

There is a new issue plaguing iCloud users. That issue is spam calendar notifications. While these are not really new, there’s been reports going back for the last several months, the frequency really ramped up over the last week. Users were receiving persistent notifications for various Black Friday sales. For most of us outside the iUniverse, the terms ‘spam’, ‘calendar’ and ‘cloud’ don’t really seem to go together. But they do with iOS.

Spammers have discovered a ‘feature’ of Apple’s services. The iCalendar can package an invitation in an ICS file. This file can then be emailed to an iCloud email address. The iCloud will automatically examine the ICS attachment, and extract that invitation to the users own iCalendar. This has been done many times, and many of these invitations have daily reminders.

Sounds fun doesn’t it?

On my BlackBerry, I currently have a few calendars synced. Even calendars from Google and Outlook. Guess what I haven’t got? Spam calendar appointments.

BlackBerry for the win.




Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.