I have recently received SMS that are supposed to be sent by young ladies in search for a soul mate. Within the SMS, there is a link to a website with a specific number in the URL, giving access to a picture of young & pretty naked girl (no, I didn’t clicked on it, I tried it from a secured virtual workstation with all protections on and through a Tor gateway). Fortunately, this picture doesn’t seem to have any payload in it.
I called my provider to ask how I can stop this (in France, there is the number 33700 that helps you with SMS spams). According to my provider, the goal of such email is to have men replying to this sms, making their mobile communication bill a bit more expensive than usual. Except deactivating Mobile commerce option on my number, there is no way to prevent this and no place to signal such malicious SMS.
At the same time, we can understand operators are not in a hurry to solve a problem that create probably a substancial revenue as they likely have a nice percentage of margin on the operation.
Unfortunately, as SMS are cheap (and SMS servers can easily be hacked), it can also be used to distribute malicious paylod without going through the usual anti-malware that are now quite common on most email services. So, if we do nothing, this can become (if it is not yet the case) the new channel to target smarphone (and you know how much sensitive information your smartphone holds).
So, when will we have a central platform to gather information, block and prosecute such malicious and illegal (is it?) behaviour?
So far: Spammers: 1 – Belgium: 0.