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Mobile Spam – forward that to short code 7726

A new GSMA (mobile operators association with nearly 800 members) initiative has just been announced to deal with mobile spam sent by SMS. This is called the GSMA Spam Reporting Service which is moving into a Pilot phase with AT&T (USA), SFR (France) and Korea Telecom (you guessed it South Korea) where the phone users on their networks will be able to forward any spam messages they receive to a short code which will try to be standardized on 7726 which spells SPAM on the handset.

Cloudmark is pleased to be working with the GSMA in this initiative and will be doing analysis on the spam messages forwarded to generate reports for the GSMA to pass on to the operators, so they have a clear view on the spam entering & leaving their networks. This will enable the mobile operators to take informed policy decisions to stop this abuse and to implement targeted in-network content control solutions.

Many people in the Western world will not have seen much spam on their phones via SMS yet but it is out there (I have had a handful already this year in the UK and our own research 2 years ago shows that even then 66% of people have received some) and in Asia it is already a big problem due to the much cheaper cost of sending SMS. And the costs in Europe and North America are only going one way, down.

The rapid adoption of smartphones, the users inherent trust of their mobile device along with the shrinking costs of sending SMS messages makes the economics of sending spam, phishing and viruses (as URLs in the SMS message which host malware to run on the smartphone) more attractive every day.

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