Security company Cloudmark claims that almost a third of mobile spam messages are now being sent via iMessage thanks to the ease with which they can be sent from a Mac, reports Wired.

Thanks to one particularly aggressive campaign from a junk mailer, [iMessage spam] accounts for more than 30 percent of all mobile spam messages […]

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Cloudmark’s Tom Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Applescripts, you can tell your Mac to send message to whoever they want.”

Part of the issue is that spammers don’t need your cell number to send you an iMessage: your email address is all they need if you’ve linked that address to iMessage.

Apple has already taken some steps to address the issue, limiting the rate at which iMessages can be sent – but spammers can work around that with multiple iMessage accounts, which require only an email address to create. Apple also allows spam-reporting, but as this requires an extremely clunky manual approach, few bother.

You have to email the company a screenshot of the spam, the phone number or email address of the spammer, and the date and time it was sent.

Wired says that the reporting procedure also seems ineffective: one address it reported was still active five days later.

One solution for users is to only allow iMessages from those in your contacts, by going into Settings >Notification Center > Messages and then scrolling right down to the bottom of the screen to change the default Show alerts from everyone to Show Alerts from My Contacts.

iMessages were the subject of controversy (and a lawsuit) when text messages continued to be sent to an inactive iMessage account for some users who switched away from an iPhone. Apple responded by promising a bug fix.

There are improvements to messaging in Yosemite and iOS 8, with screen-sharing on the Mac and several new features in iOS, including Tap to Talk and quick-reply.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear