Signal wants to reduce spam

Everyone who hangs out on social media platforms or uses messengers knows the impact. There’s a friend request and a message request and because sometimes it has to go through really fast, clicking the accept button comes off as lighthearted. Especially when using the smartphone at the same time, this is a frequent risk. Inattention (or neglect) can have unpleasant consequences later on. Signal now wants to protect its users a little better against this. Profile photos play a central role.

The messaging service specifically wants to make message inquiries from contacts more secure. Profile photos of senders who are not initially in their phone book will remain unrecognizable until they are actively clicked.

The developers of the messenger want to prevent people from replying to pictures of attractive people or other misleading pictures, for example from their banks, and then engaging in conversations that could lead to fraud.

For the same reason, Internet addresses will no longer be shown in message requests. Because it may be behind fake websites and phishing attacks, like developer Open Whisper Systems in a blog post Implement.

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In order to prevent spam not only in individual messages and conversations, but also in the entire network, users also have the option to block inquirers and at the same time also report such inquiries. In this way, Signal aims to identify and stop spam campaigns at an early stage.

According to his own statements, Messenger grew in strength in 2021, which is why the platform has also moved to the hotbed of scammers. Defending spam can dispense with analyzing message content or relationships between messenger users, Signal asserts.

If someone clicks “Report and block spam,” according to the provider, only the potential spammer’s cell phone number and a unique, anonymous identifier will be sent to Signal. If a number is frequently reported as spam or if its use appears to be automated, an in-app (CAPTCHA) puzzle must be required in order to slow down the automatic spam.

Whisper Systems opens new horizons for this procedure. Usually, the signal software is fully disclosed and can be viewed freely (open source). However, to combat spam, there will be a separate new server area.

According to the information, its interfaces will also be open source. However, the exact implementation must be kept secret so that spammers cannot circumvent the procedures, Open Whisper Systems explains. But that doesn’t change the basics of Signal’s privacy-oriented security model. The exact start date of the innovations was not initially specified.

(with material from dpa)

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