Microsoft's next version of its instant messenger application will have a new security feature to report users who send unsolicited messages, known as SPIM (spam over IM). That's one of several new features in Windows Live Messenger 9.0, which was released to some private beta testers on Tuesday, according to Liveside.net, a site that focuses on Microsoft's Live brand of Web-based applications.
The problem with SPIM is that it's annoying and, at worst, dangerous. The tricky part is that the hacker may have obtained someone's IM account details, so it appears that a genuine contact is sending the messages. After compiling a list of IM contacts, hackers try to trick users into clicking links. Those links can often launch an unwanted installation of spyware or other malware via a browser vulnerability or other security hole.