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Bye bye ICQ
Well, I've been an ICQ user, on and off, for about 8 years... perhaps longer, I'm not sure. I've got a 7 digit ICQ number. (Yes, I have a few friends with 6 digit numbers, but that's not the point of this piece).

Spam over ICQ has been an occasional problem, but it's easy enough to just 'ignore' the user, and that's that. However, in the past week i've been getting an increasing number of "Authorize Me" requests from spammers, and setting "ignore" on those users doesn't help; the requests keep coming through. I even said "accept" once thinking that I really didn't care if they knew I was on-line, I'd just block the spam anyway, but... that doesn't help at all.

I no longer run ICQ because of this. Apparently, lots of others are having this problem as well; the boards are filled with complaints about spam. And, very recently, their boards, and their trouble-ticket system, is broken. You can't post, nor submit any new tickets. Totally borked.

And not a peep from the ICQ staff. One might be tempted to think that they're just "giving up", letting ICQ rot, and hoping people move over to AIM. (ICQ got bought by AOL some time ago).

I think a moment of silence for ICQ, once a really great (if totally insecure and badly coded) messaging service, is appropriate.


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I had a flood of morons try to add me recently. My Ignore list grew to immense porportions...

My old ICQ number is 6435423, and I used to use the program a lot... until I was driven off by spam as well. ICQ's greatest flaw is the numerical system. Everybody just gets +1 to their number when they sign up, making it easy as shit for spammers to spam the entire userbase in one go.

If ICQ wants to survive they need to convert their DB to a names-based system, but that'll likely never happen.

I'm not so sure that'd help much. I've been getting an increase of spam on my YIM account of late. At least when I hit Ignore on that one, I have the option of tagging the twit as a spammer, which gets rid of them fast.

Well, what they need to do is message limitations. Prevent people from being able to send X number of initial messages/invites per X number of users per hour/minute. It may punish heavy users, but... it'd help.

Aka, people's messages send normally at first, then slow down, then go to a delay timer, and if the person starts messaging 50 people per hour without them messaging first it starts to slow them down, and the next 25 people it messages it adds a time, etc.

That'd help. It'd autoflag ICQ numbers as spammers and self-report after a certain number.

I mean, how many people actually need to spam 100+ people an hour with a message? Not many. If somebody has a legitimate reason, no worry...

Hee... yours is just short of my own (6744560) :)

Switching away from numbers would certainly help, but not completely. Really, they just need to give US better tools, like "ignore" that also ignores authorization requests.

Actually, just do away with authorization requests completely. Anyone that uses a 3rd-party client doesn't need them to send messages, which means the SPAMMERS don't need them either.

Since I've had to change my ICQ number from a 7 digit one to 9 or 10, I've received maybe 1 spam message.

I expect that if you've got a low ICQ UIN, you're more prone to getting spam from these guys, as by the time they get up to the billions, they've been kicked off the network for spamming.

It's the only explanation I can come up with.


People still use ICQ? I quit using it pretty quickly, partially due to the number-not-a-name thing. And got dragged into AIM by social effects a year or two later.

I've not had any such problems yet, but then I use it through trillian, and don't have my number posted anywhere, I just state for people to ask me if they want it.

But ICQ was prolly destined for doom when AOL bought it out years ago anyways, most people prefer AIM, YIM, or MSN anyways.

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Same... but i've been finding that the last remaining few also have AIM accounts, so... there's not much reason to keep with ICQ anymore :)

I switched to using Trillian (and sometimes Gaim), and the best invention ever is a spam challenger. I have yet to come across a bot that gets through my spam filter.

I'm using Adium, which is OS/X only rather than Trillian, which is Windows-only :)

However, I've not received much, if any, in the way of spam on any of the networks other than ICQ. Since you don't mention if you use ICQ or not, I really cant derive any information from it :)

Actually, I don't know where the blocking acts... does it act on messages incomming to the client, at the server, or both?

ICQ 'authorization' messages, are a different beast than normal messages, though. They'd need to be handled specially, no matter what client you're using.

Oh sorry. I use ICQ, YIM, MSN, AIM, and JABBER.

Some messengers work server-side, but the most effective would be to do it client-side in all cases, I believe, since you can make -sure- that you stop things, even if something slips through the server's filter. In the time I've used ICQ, I haven't had a single request for an authorization, and I don't really know if it's because people aren't adding me, or what, or if Trillian either blocks the requests, or automatically accepts it, but the latter would be quite alright, when used in combination with either Trillian's own privacy setting "Only accept messages from users on my contact list", or the spam challenger plugin, which sends them a challenge that they need to respond to (usually an "open sesame" thing).

I don't know if the "Do not activate web-aware" setting has anything to say in getting spammed or not, but I'd say it's worth a try. In any case, it doesn't matter much if you can't use it, being on OS X and all. ;)

Hmm.. I still need to catch you over email for a discussion regarding the VFetch system, since I need to ask some things, because of the changes with more servers, etc. :)

I still use ICQ, although after my last re-install I ended up with Trillian instead of the standard ICQ. I've got a low number and I haven't got spam in a while, a long while. Then again, now that I'm saying this, I just know the flood gates are going to open....

i removed code that displays "authorize me" messages.

i do not "see" a single spam :]

Well, that's certainly a way of achieving it :) I guess you did this inside libgaim ?

ew no, gaim is gross >:(

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