Light Reading

Spam in the White City

Sarah Thomas
6/19/2014
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event 2014 -- Mobile users love to text, but you know who else loves it? Spammers, scammers, and malicious phishers.

Mobile phishing -- attempts to acquire personal info, including financial data -- has been a growing problem ever since unlimited SMS buckets became the norm, according to Neil Cook, CTO of messaging security vendor Cloudmark Inc. In honor of BTE in Chicago, the company spliced its data for us to show how phishing affected consumers here in particular. (See SMS Is Far From Dead and Stemming the Tide of SMS Spam.)

In April, 39% of Chicago-bound phishing messages were around banking schemes. Cloudmark found that these scams grew from 0% of phishing messages on April 9 to 85% on April 10, continuing to grow until peaking at 92% on April 15, before dropping off completely. You guessed it, it was phishing to celebrate tax day. The scams were primarily aimed at those Chicagoans who opted to put their refunds on an Achieve prepaid debit card.

Cook said this type of event-based spam is common, and is especially concerning because the phishing scams can look legit, come from trusted sources, and are timed in such a way that you believe they're valid. What's more, even if your bank is using a trusted broker, that broker could be using a less than stand-up company or employee somewhere along the chain. As such, it could look like it's coming from a legitimate short code when it's really scam. (See Orange France Hacked.)

"Safeguarding personal information is key to surviving in a cyber-security world," Cook said. "The more info they know about you, the more they'll spam you." And the more personalized and socially engineered it will be, he added, meaning it gets harder to discern the good from the bad. That's especially scary when health or financial information is involved. (See LTE Brings More Malware.)

The Spam Warrior
Cloudmark CTO Neil Cook: He fights spam by day and tears up the dance floor by night.
Cloudmark CTO Neil Cook: He fights spam by day and tears up the dance floor by night.

Cloudmark launched a Spam Reporting Service (SRS) two years ago with the support of the GSM Association (GSMA) that most major operators are now using. When their customers get a spam message, they forward it to 7726. The operators can use this aggregated data to block or filter out phishing scams and better understand where they come from. Cook said millions of messages have been forwarded since the program started. (See Cloudmark, Tekelec Tackle Text Spam and Cloudmark Improves SMS Security.)

He is working to get the operators to be more open about how they are protecting their networks and their customers from malicious attacks on the network too. That's been a battle as most are unwilling to talk. "People with access to personal info like Facebook and Google at least talk about their policies," Cook said.

Cloudmark also provides spam filtering software to operators to proactively cut down on phishing attempts, since Cook says protection has to stem from the network. As far as consumers are concerned, the best thing they can do is not touch a spam message they receive outside of forwarding it to 7726. Don't respond and certainly don't click on it, or you better prepare to go phishing.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/31/2014 | 9:43:10 AM
Re: Measures Against Spam To Rule Out This Cyber Security Problem
@SachinEE,

Wouldn't most people by defaut ignore messages from people they don't know. Even more likely, not respond to it?
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 6:13:07 AM
Measures Against Spam To Rule Out This Cyber Security Problem
The increase in the cases of spam messages does not come as a shocker. There are very many mobile phone users who love to text and chat through messaging but there are also the Spammers, scammers, and malicious phishers who also love using the opportunities they get to their advantage. Mobile phishing is another illegal activity that has been going on and very many people have lost their personal information to this. Many people get a lot of spam in their inbox and their emails which are very dangerous. There is a way through which you can prevent yourself from suffering the effects of spam such as the spam filtering software.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/22/2014 | 9:00:56 AM
Re: oh the irony....
@Kruz,

Your provider should open a "spam hotline" where you can fwd the spam to them so they can investigate & eventually block those incoming senders.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/1/2014 | 2:50:25 AM
Re: oh the irony....
The problem is that regulations are not tight and implemented where I live. Spammers will often send without your consent and there isn't much I can do about it once it happens.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/30/2014 | 5:52:35 PM
Re: oh the irony....
They'll probably tell you it was in the fine print when you signed up :(
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 4:15:01 AM
RE: Protection against spammers
It's so disheartening that scammers and spammers are increasing in numbers all over the world with the advancement in technology. However, it's amazing to hear that IT specialists are doing something about it. I strongly agree to the fact that the safety of our personal information is the best strategy for cyber security. Besides, the availability of spam filtering software is also a great way to tackle cyber crimes. This is because it cuts down phishing attempts and any other malicious attempts.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 4:20:33 AM
Re: oh the irony....
well i didn't so whatever is happening is happening without my consent and it is really annoying.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/24/2014 | 9:47:10 PM
Re: oh the irony....
How did the SMS spam start? Did you sign up for mobile alerts?
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 10:24:51 AM
Re-Protection against scammers
The fact that we must always share our mobile gadgets with spammers, scammers and other malicious people is quite devastating. I strongly agree with the fact that the only way through which we can survive in the cyber security world is through safeguarding all our personal information. I think that people should now adapt to the use of the Spam Reporting Service. Operators should also be open about the security measures that they are taking to protect both their networks and customers from malicious attacks.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/23/2014 | 3:04:40 AM
Re: oh the irony....
I have my email spam reduced to zero using gmail. The way they created accounts based on invitation made this possible. As for mobile spam, I am constantly hammered. I know for sure that no sms I receive is directed to me as people use IM now. The solution was to add an sms blocker app on my android, this made spam a thing from the past. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Heavy Reading analyst Steve Bell explains how IoT deployments are driving operators to invest in SDN and NFV, but some are still waiting on LTE-M.
Small cells, along with WiFi, SDN and NFV, will be crucial to the build out of 5G, two SK Telecom senior managers tell Light Reading in an extensive Q&A.
AOL answers the question of how Verizon will monetize all its planned video offers, and it also indicates the carrier is becoming a content provider, whether it calls itself one or not.
One third of nearly 500 voters in Light Reading's recent poll on 5G suggest that upgrading backhaul to support the influx of data traffic coming to 5G will be the toughest challenge.
Light Reading outlines 13 groups that are working to influence the development of 5G, including its standards, spectrum and use cases.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones
Too Fluffy to Talk Click Here
Elmer found that his bountiful fur got in the way of meaningful conversation.