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Mobile Spam Worries Wireless Industry Analysts

Date: 11/27/2007 3:04:53 PM

Long despised by email users around the world, unsolicited spam messages are slowly but surely creeping onto wireless text messaging platforms.

Cell phone users in the United states will receive around 1.1 million spam messages this year, and 1.5 million in 2008, according to messaging specialist, Ferris Research. This might not seem like much given that 250 million Americans now use wireless services, but analysts warn that cell phone spam will grow significantly in the coming years, and that viruses and spyware that monitors mobile communications could be next.

“Wireless phones are a brandnew attack target for the hackers,” commented Tom Bowers, senior security evangelist with software vendor, Kaspersky Lab.

Cell phone carriers have taken a hard line against mobile spamming, intercepting unsolicited commercial messages and taking whatever action they can against the perpetrators. In May, America’s second largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, sued a company which they claim “inundated” its customers with more than 12 million unsolicited text messages. Verizon managed to block all but 4,618 from reaching customers, but dealing with the spam attack cost them money, and resulted in clogged SMS networks.

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