NORTH AMERICAN MOBILE OPERATORS ADOPT GSMA SPAM REPORTING SERVICE TO HELP PROTECT SUBSCRIBERS AND IDENTIFY SPAMMERS

System to Help Ensure Networks Remain Secure from Fraud and Text Messaging Attacks

28 February 2012, Mobile World Congress, Barcelona - (Virtual Press Office) : The GSMA today announced that North America’s largest mobile operators have launched the GSMA Spam Reporting Service (SRS), powered by Cloudmark technology. GSMA’s SRS is now available to AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless customers, enabling these operators to proactively address global messaging threats to mobile networks. Currently, North America has one of the lowest incidences of mobile spam in the world and leading U.S. and Canadian operators continue to focus on the integrity of their messaging platforms by adopting and launching this service to their consumers.

“Around the world, increasing numbers of consumers are falling victim to spam. Mobile network operators are working hard defending against these threats to continue to protect the quality of the mobile service and reinforce subscriber trust,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “By having major mobile operators in North America actively participating in the service, spammers and fraudsters will find this region an even more difficult target for their malicious activity.”

The GSMA’s SRS allows participating operators to share attack intelligence in real time so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent spam attacks from advancing. The SRS enables the operator to empower their consumer base, through a short code, to easily report problems back to a global collection, aggregation and reporting service, maintaining trust and confidence in the marketplace. The short code ‘7726’, which spells “SPAM” on most phones, will be used where local national numbering plans permit.

The SRS correlates data from all participating networks and provides operators with live, online reports that flag attacks in progress. This gives operators the information necessary to take appropriate action to protect their subscribers and their networks from further potential harm. In addition, the service also offers an Android app that operators can make available to their Android smartphone users. This app allows subscribers to easily submit spam details to the operator to further enhance the effectiveness of the SRS service.

"Mobile security threats such as spam, virus and phishing are becoming more critical as businesses and consumers increasingly access sensitive information via smartphones," said Ed Amoroso, AT&T chief security officer. "The GSMA Spam Reporting Service will not only help defend against today's attacks, but proactively help protect our customers and our network from new and emerging mobile threats."

“Industry-leading network security is essential to an ongoing positive experience for our customers,” said Nauby Jacob, Vice President of Services, Products and Content at Bell Mobility “We are proud to work with the GSMA on this important effort to ensure Bell’s wireless networks remain among the safest and most secure in the world.”

“As we continue to dissolve borders with communications technology and travel, we become more aware of the boundless possibilities available to us via our mobile devices. Equally apparent however, are the endless opportunities for malicious activity,” said Hugh McCartney, Chief Executive Officer, Cloudmark. “The GSMA Spam Reporting Service, powered by Cloudmark technology, together with a spam mitigation solution such as content filtering, is an important component of a comprehensive messaging security strategy for mobile network operators. We applaud the efforts of the major North American mobile operators who are working together to protect their subscribers from mobile messaging threats.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:
The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides a worldwide clearinghouse of messaging threats and misuse which have been reported by mobile users and is operated on behalf of the GSMA by Cloudmark, Inc. The GSMA Spam Reporting Service analyses SMS traffic and identifies and aggregates reports of misuse submitted by mobile subscribers of participating networks via a short code. The short code ‘7726’, which spells “SPAM” on most phones, will be used where local national numbering plans permit. Consumers will be able to direct alleged spam to a responsive feedback system, so that appropriate action can be taken by the operator. This action might include investigations, warnings and blocking of senders who have been reported by end users as sending unsolicited or fraudulent messages.

The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides operators with correlated reports on SMS threats, originating both within and outside of the network. The data analysis gives operators the insight needed to address sophisticated and evolving messaging threats that could negatively impact the user experience as well as available network resources. Detailed drill downs into individual attacks can be used to measure effectiveness of fraud and phishing, giving operators the ability to identify and block attacks and plan for network and security services.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at http://www.gsma.com or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at http://www.mobileworldlive.com

Media Contacts:
Abigail Faylor: +44 (0)2070 670 851
afaylor@webershandwick.com
GSMA Press Office:press@gsm.org
 
 
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