Mobile operators launch SMS spam service


Operators team with government to enable consumers to report SMS spam

Major mobile operators in the UK have teamed with government to allow consumers to report SMS spam.

The GSMA announced today that EE, O2, Three and Vodafone are working together with the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), to tackle nuisance text messages by using the GSMA's Spam Reporting Service.

The service, powered by Cloudmark, provides a worldwide clearinghouse of messaging threats and misuse. It enables operators to analyse spam attack patterns, identify the sources of attacks and shut down the sources as a result.

'Increasing numbers of consumers are victims of spam and mobile network operators are working hard defending against these threats,' said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. 'The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides operators with a tool to measure the extent of fraud and phishing and provides the insight needed to address sophisticated messaging threats that could harm users. By working closely with the ICO, the UK's operators are making it more difficult for spammers and fraudsters to target mobile phone users in this country.'

Added Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement, ICO: 'The real time information about spam attacks we are now receiving from the UK operators is helping us to quickly identify breaches in the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR), track down perpetrators and issue monetary penalties against them.'

Through the GSMA's Spam Reporting Service, UK mobile phone users are able to report nuisance text messages through a free-of-charge short code: '7726' or 'SPAM'.

These reports are aggregated and analysed, providing operators with important details about the origin and size of the attack. The service allows operators to share intelligence in real time to ensure that an attack detected on one network can be quickly isolated and prevented on others. Armed with this insight, mobile operators can block and cut off the senders of spam.

As a next step, EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and the ICO are investigating ways to extend the Spam Reporting Service to address nuisance calls.


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