[JDEV] Auto Account Creation

Todd Bradley TBradley at jabber.com
Mon Feb 19 18:17:47 CST 2001

> How would you go about automatically creating accounts for 
> all other IM
> services (AIM, Yahoo, etc) 

That sounds like a tough one.  Since these IM
services generally allow account creation through
a web interface, the only way I can think of to
do that is this:

Look at the web pages to register accounts for
these other IM systems.  At some point, there
are probably HTML forms getting submitted.  You
could write a script to interact with the IM's
webserver directly and submit those forms with
whatever field values you choose.

This would break whenever Yahoo (or whoever)
changes their web registration.  It would also
be illegal, because all the other IM systems
require you to "read" and accept a terms of
service agreement.  This script would be im-
personating that user and accepting the terms
on their behalf.  I suppose you might get
around that by presenting the new Jabber user
with the terms of service from each of the
other IM systems and have them accept them all
en masse.  But I'm no lawyer.

Besides, even if you could legally do this, 
you'd probably piss Yahoo (or whoever) off
if you did it without their permission.  By 
hiding the Yahoo account from the Jabber user,
Yahoo wouldn't be getting any benefit from the

Technically, I suppose one other way to do this
is reverse engineer the other IM protocol to see
the data stream they send to register a new user.
Then, rather than manipulating a web page, you
could write a program to spoof that data stream.
This should be possible with any IM system that 
has a standalone client app, unless it requires
you to reply to an email verification or some-
thing.  I'd imagine Yahoo would be just as un-
happy at you spoofing a new user registration
data stream as they'd be if you spoofed their
web registration forms.


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