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Solution bared to protect mobile phone users from spam messages

/ 08:46 AM July 05, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – With the increase in spam messages, Cloudmark, Inc., a company at the forefront of providing carrier-grade messaging security, has come forward with a solution that would protect mobile phone users.

SMS (Short Message Service) spam messages are not only annoying but are also potentially destructive to mobile phones just like spam messages on e-mail are, said Alan Ranger, Vice President for Mobile Marketing for Cloudmark.

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Ranger said that Cloudmark has also been leading in the campaign against spam messages in e-mail around six years ago, saying that crooks have now turned to less protected forms of messaging like the use of mobile phones.

With filtering mechanisms in e-mail services, “[those] behind the e-mail attacks are not making much money,” said Ranger.

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In fact, with defenses in place for e-mail services, out of the 95 percent spam e-mail sent to unsuspecting clients, 98 percent are filtered out, he stated.

“Mobile phones are on the opposite side: not much filtering yet,” Ranger explained, saying that mobile messaging systems are more susceptible to attacks.

He said that while e-mail attacks have become unprofitable, the costs of mobile phone attacks have fallen and its hit rates high—making it a better option for crooks.

Users are also at risk because of the notion that their mobile phones are secure. “[They] trust SMS because it comes from the people they know,” said Ranger.

Ranger said that there were various spam attacks wherein banking information and access were stolen right under the subscribers’ noses.

He said that a spam may be masquerading as an advertisement which asks for pertinent information from the subscriber.

In the case of the premium rate scam in Vietnam, the SMS spam came in the form of a notification for winners, saying that the subscriber won in a raffle or contest, Ranger stated.

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The subscribers aere then asked to send a certain amount of money and divulge pertinent information through their mobile phones.

Ranger also pointed out that the mobile phone virus that spread throughout China last year has been continuously sending text messages and have cost the subscribers a lot of money.

Ranger said that in most cases, the “unique relationship between them [subscriber-operator]” makes the subscriber blame the operator for damages caused by spam.

To combat SMS spam, fraud, malware and viruses, Cloudmark has created a Mobile Messaging Security Solution to rid mobile networks of these nuisances even before they could do their damage.

Ranger said that the robust and comprehensive solution would not only stimulate trust in the networks but also protect revenue.

The solution will not only keep tight watch against possible viruses, malware, and fraud but also prevent abusive content and even bullying.

The solution will work out what message types to restrict so that they will not reach the subscribers’ handsets. Analysis of subscribers’ behavior and preferences would also be undertaken as well as local and global filtering of content.

To encourage trust in the mobile networks, the solution would ensure that the messages that the subscribers receive are legitimate, their financial transactions secure, and future services trustworthy, Ranger said.

For the mobile operators, the solution will be to guarantee that messages are scanned with zero latency, and detection and blocking of attacks are real time.

Cloudmark protects 1.6 Billion subscribers in 160 countries worldwide and has teamed up with the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), Airwide and Openwave.

TOPICS: Cloudmark Inc., Computing and Information and Technology, Internet, mobile phones, Short Messaging System (SMS), Spam, Telecommunications Equipment
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