Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021, 15:34 Software

iCloud Calendar Spam Is Still A Big Problem

iCloud Calendar spam is one of the unfortunate side-effects of Apple's cloud storage service. There were already complaints about it years ago. At the time, Apple apologized for any inconveniences over Twitter and reassured users that the company was aware of the problem and working on a solution. However, there are still users experiencing iCloud Calendar spam as of today.

Some iCloud Calendar Users Plagued By Spam
Twitter user Bieberfluid documented several examples of iCloud spam via screenshots of Apple's "Calendar" app. iCloud Calendar spam occurs when a spammer sends a requests permission to add an event or reminder to a user's calendar, which then shows up on the user's device as a push notification. It's not only annoying, but it's potentially a threat to users. If you accidentally click on an iCloud Calendar invite from an email – for example, you'll be given three options, "Accept", "Refuse", and "Maybe". Regardless of which option you choose, simply interacting with the menu to even refuse the event provides the spammer with valuable information: the iCloud or iCloud associated email address used to respond to the invitation is being actively used. By protecting yourself from spam, you've now made yourself a target for further spam.



iCloud Calendar Spam May Contain Dangerous Links
Manipulated iCloud Calendar subscriptions and events may also contain scam lures such as the fake virus popups known to dangerous websites, which then link users to other dangerous links which may try to download and install harmful software on the user's device. This is normally how malware and damaging software gets spread. In some cases, the spam events can be so bad and so numerous that notifications of the user's normal calendar events become buried.

Apple Releases YouTube Tutorial
Just a few weeks ago, Apple published a tutorial on YouTube showing users how to unsubscribe from iCloud Calendar events. However, the clip doesn't exactly go into much depth, it just shows users where to go to unsubscribe from unwanted calendar subscriptions. Many users affected by Calendar spam are already fully aware of how to do this – a more interesting tutorial would give advice on how to prevent Calendar spam in the first place.

Two Workarounds For Calendar Spam
In the last few years, there have been two workarounds that have shown themselves to be useful, although neither of the two actually solves the problem of iCloud Calendar spam:

  • Moving The Spam Invitation To Another Calendar:
  • In order to get rid of a spam invitation without alerting a spammer to the fact that your iCloud account is active – thus making yourself a target for further spam, create a "Spam" calendar. You can then delete the entire calendar, and thus all of the spam invitations, without notifying the spammer that your account is active. However, this entire process has to be repeated every time you receive a spam invitation.

  • Change Invitations From In-App Push Notifications To Mail:
  • In this case, event invitations will be sent to you via email rather than adopted in-app. Instead of then having to respond to the invitation via the app, you can simply delete the email. However, iCloud Calendar invitations that you do want to respond to will now also be found under email, rather than in-app – so be aware of that.

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