American Idol cellphone spam angers AT&T customers

Graham Cluley

The world can thank Great Britain for some great inventions: William Shakespeare, The Beatles, the hovercraft and err.. pop talent shows hosted by Simon Cowell.

American Idol, which tops the charts in the United States, fascinating viewers with Cowell’s high waist-line and sardonic putdowns, finds itself in the middle of controversy this week as it was the subject of a widespread spam campaign sent to “a significant number” of AT&T’s cellphone customers.

As the New York Times reported, American Idol’s telecom sponsor, AT&T, sent out a tidalwave of adverts to their mobile users advertising the TV show.

Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T Wireless, explained that his company wanted “people to watch the show and participate. It makes perfect sense to use texting to tell people about a show built on texting.”

What he hasn’t said, of course, is that only…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.

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