In September 2012, Quick Heal launched an initiative for mobile users to forward suspicious SMS messages to a predesignated number. We received an impressive response as a lot of mobile users actively forwarded their spam messages and contributed towards this cause.
Millions of SMS messages are exchanged between various parties every single day. So attackers have increasingly started using this medium to emit spam and other suspicious messages to a large number of people simultaneously. Almost every mobile phone user has received such messages at some point or the other, so it is imperative to prevent such messages at the earliest.
The threat of SMiShing has also been on the rise for a while now and Quick Heal aims to counter this threat on mobile devices. With increased smartphone usage and mobile Internet access, confidential/private data is also stored on these devices so it is necessary to stay protected against such threats and not fall for phishing SMS messages.
Distribution of spam SMS messages received
SMS spam samples include various threats that emanate from different sources and target specific platforms. Out of all spam SMS messages that we received, 33% were phishing texts (the largest category) that asked for personal details in clever ways. Given below is the distribution of the total spam SMS messages we received in various categories.
Phishing Messages (SMiShing)
Property / Real Estate
Medical & Health Treatment / Consultancy
Shopping (Mall / Shops)
Policy Insurance / Marketing
Share Market / Trading
Banks / Finance Agencies
Telephonic Shopping (Sales / Marketing)
Public Alert / Information
Tours & Traveling
Advertising Agents / Agencies
Consultancy / Placement Jobs
Electronic Sales & Service
Software Sales / Marketing
Fitness Gyms / Clubs
Vehicle Sales / Marketing
Resort & Hotel
Jokes / Wish / Shayari / Formal SMS
Beauty Parlor / Cosmetics / Spa
Pornography / Sexually Explicit
We strongly recommend that our readers save the designated number to forward such messages to and spread the word about the same. The more information we receive from mobile users, the more suspicious messages we can block. Most of these messages contain standardized phrases and texts so the more samples we receive, the better mobile phone security we can offer.
Quick Heal for Android and BlackBerry provides an effective SMS blocking feature which prevents spam messages from reaching the inbox in the first place. If flagged words or phrases are spotted by the program, the incoming SMS is instantly blocked. So it is essential to forward such spam messages as soon as you receive them.