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Here’s How Apple Plans to Combat iCloud Spam

Apple CEO Tim Cook Announces the Apple iPhone 4sApple CEO Tim Cook Announces the Apple iPhone 4s
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks about the iCloud service at a company event.Photograph by David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apple has a plan to stop spam from targeting its iCloud Calendar service.

The tech giant has started to roll out a new feature that will allow users to report spam when they find it in their iCloud calendars. The feature, which was earlier discovered by Apple-tracking site 9to5 Mac, adds a “Report Junk” link to an iCloud Calendar item. Once a user clicks on that item, spam invites on calendars will be removed and Apple will be alerted to the spam. Users can also choose to reverse their decisions if the invites aren’t actually spam.

The feature is a response to an uptick in spam that’s been targeting iCloud users since November. When affected users would go to Apple’s Calendar app, which operates through its iCloud Internet-based service but syncs with iPhones and Macs, they’d find invites from people they didn’t know. The invites would use the description field to peddle illegitimate applications and other products. It’s unknown how widespread the problem was and how the spammers were able to target individuals, but the spam has intensified in recent weeks.

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Last month, Apple issued a statement to Apple-tracking site iMore apologizing for the spam. The company added that it was “actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.”

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Apple’s latest response aims at rooting out the spam and blocking the senders from targeting its users. However, as of this writing, the Report Junk feature is only available on the Calendar service. Those who are hoping to report junk on their Macs or on iOS devices will need to log into iCloud, go to the Calendar app, choose the spam event, and report it to Apple. It’s unknown when, or even if, it’ll be coming to the apps running on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Still, it might be viewed as a positive step towards remove spam from iCloud. Previously, iCloud users were forced to only delete the spam, leaving the possibility of the spammer sending more event invites in the future.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether its spam-reporting feature will be coming to its mobile devices or Macs in the future.