Infosecurity Europe: Mobile-originated spam set to be a major problem

According to Richard Cox, the CIO of Spamhaus, the not-for-profit anti-spam organisation, cellular service providers and other companies offering 2G and 3G mobile internet services, do not have the resources to track down and lock out those accounts - SIM cards - that are generating spammed email.

The problem is just as bad in those countries which do not have 3G networks, as, in Nigeria, for example, he says, spammers are quite happy to send their spam via a humble GSM connection.

And since the use of a pre-pay SIM card allows spammers to carry out their trade on a near untraceable basis, mobile-originated spam is quietly becoming a major problem for all types of ISPs, and not just those in the mobile communications space.

"We are working with a large number of ISPs, Internet regulatory bodies and other agencies, but the resources of mobile data service providers - the cellular carriers - are fully stretched when it comes to this problem," he told Infosecurity in an exclusive interview.

The problem is exacerbated, he says, by the fact that many spamming operations are trans-national in nature, with spam that ostensibly comes from one country is often generated in another country, and aimed at internet users in a third country.

"So who do you report this problem to? The police and other agencies in the middle country have their hands full with other internet frauds, so they are not always interested in cross-border spam where it does not directly affect their own citizens," he says.

According to Cox, until the police and other internet agencies realise there is a very real problem with mobile-originated spam - and extend the resources to tackle the problem - the issue is going to get worse.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?