The new front in the war on spam: text messaging to mobile
While the “classic” spamming techniques via e-mail are as
strong as ever, the wireless phone and the ever-increasing fascination with
text messaging is accelerating the use of text spam. According to this article,
consumers in the United States are expected to receive about 1.5 billion spam
text messages this year, up from 1.1 billion last year and 800 million in 2006,
according to Ferris Research, a San Francisco market research firm. Many
estimates are much higher.
What to do about the increase? Legally, state and federal
spam deterrence laws would likely allow consumers and service providers to sue
for damages. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act might also be useful in
combating spam via phone. On the technical side, we can expect to see similar
tactics to those currently employed as to e-mail spam, including filters,
blacklists, and more.
Another trend to expect: as wireless phone Internet access
becomes more full-featured, you will see an increase in the type of messages
sent. Many spammers rely on a small percentage of people purchasing products,
many fraudulent, after receiving various spam messages. As more people access
the Internet via their phone, particularly to make purchases, we’ll see more
and more attempts to take advantage of that commerce by spammers.