Rising Concerns About SMS Spam
Text Msg spamming is on the increase warns Cloudmark a San Francisco company that makes anti-spam software for carriers.
With most of the population owning a cell phone, the numbers of text messages flying around the airwaves has drastically increased over the last 5 years. And with spammers try to expand their audience, text messages have become fertile territory for malicious spam adverts.
Estimates vary greatly regarding the exact percentage of spam text’s out there, however Clouldmark – a San Francisco company that makes anti-spam software for carriers â€“ claim that the problem is on the increase with numbers expected to quadruple by the end of the year.
SMS SPAM On The Rise
Cloudmark’s CEO, Hugh McCartney recently paid a visit to several members of Congress and Justice Department staffers to warn them of the impending problem. McCartney’s estimates suggest that approx 5% of U.S text messages are spam-related, a relatively small figure compared to countries overseas. In India around 30% of all text messages are spam while in China the numbers rise to 50%.
The origins of text message spam are thought to be similar to those of email: automated computer-generated messages send out hundreds or even thousands of texts to consumers at once.
Cellphones are easier to target than emails because the guesswork involved in finding a standardized 10 digit number is much easier than randomly selecting e-mail addresses; which has a unique sequence of characters and a variable length.
Cellphones are also vulnerable to blend smishing attacks which combine text messages with phone numbers, email addresses or links to the internet. There are many reports of smishing attacks that come with intriguing instructions asking consumers to click a link or call a phone number, all of these spam messages are in a desperate effort to get more information.
Despite Cloudmarks concerns about the rising numbers of spam text messages, some spam experts say that the problem will never reach the extreme levels found in email. This is mainly because wireless carriers have more control over what connects to their networks. Whether spam texts will indeed become more popular that email spam is debatable but there is one thing for sure, text msg spam is here to stay.
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