Feeds

GSMA trials spam snitch scheme

Sling yer SMS hook

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The GSMA is piloting a scheme allowing GSM users to report SMS spam to a standard short code, in the hope of stopping the trickle before it becomes a flood.

The pilot will be offered to customers of AT&T, Korea Telecom and SFR, who will be able to forward spam texts to short code 7726 (T9 for "SPAM"), except where that's not available and the service will have to use 33700 instead (the equally-memorable "des00"). The messages will be collected by CloudMark, who will look at them carefully and decide what to do next.

Not that there's a great deal CloudMark, or the GSMA, can do about most of the messages. SMS spam is often sent through hacked SMS Centres in countries where security isn't the highest priority*; in which case it's hard to trace, or it's been legitimately paid for... in which case the operators have an agreed obligation to deliver it to the addressed recipient.

The French have been running a similar system since October 2008, which has received half a million reports and managed to shut down 300 spamming phone numbers, PC World reports. That system expects users to forward the spam, then respond to an enquiry about the number from which the spam was received, which can then be threatened with disconnection if it can be traced.

Text spam is on the increase thanks to falling text rates, and the international nature of GSM which allows a spammer to take advantage of incredibly-cheap texting rates in third-world countries, to (perfectly legally) deliver spam to western consumers. In extreme cases that can threaten the carriage agreements, though as long as customers don't complain too much, western operators are happy to take the termination rates.

Whether the GSMA is the right body to collect and collate text spam is open to debate, but the body reckons its international nature makes it the only one that can. ®

*In the past that's often included India, though international connection agreements mean that any SMSc in the world can be used.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.