Assessing SMS and Instant Messaging Messages as Spam is Difficult

SMS and IM spam isn't usually much of a problem today, in most countries. SMS spam is kept under control because senders have to pay for sending. And IM tends to be in closed communities, such as AIM, and the vendors concerned can implement suitably controlling technology.

However, as mobile phones become Internet-connected, with either have a flat monthly fee or charge by the MB for data traffic, spam in the form of short messages will become a big problem.

And short messages are much harder to recognize with existing spam detection methods, because they're so short. You have to make an accurate assessment, with just a few words.

Community-based reporting, where users report a message as spam, would seem to be a good solution. Cloudmark ( therefore anticipates, reasonably enough, that its offerings will be well received by service providers who have SMS/IM spam problems. Its technology automatically processes user reports, and rapidly distributes filters. Another advantage of the Cloudmark approach is that it works with many languages, including obscure ones.

... David Ferris

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