Cloudmark MobileAuthority Controls Cellphone Malware

SMS spam on cellphone isn't much of a problem in developed countries, because senders get charged and it's too expensive for the spammer. However, that will change:

  • Spammers can send from developing countries where the charges are very low
  • Spammers will sometimes work out ways around the system, where the recipient pays
  • Developed countries have introduced "messaging unlimited" plans that lower the cost of sending

This constitutes a major problem for wireless providers, because SMS is a major source of revenues to them, unhappy users will (expensively) call the help desk, and it'll increase churn.

Today, a number of vendors offer cellphone-based solutions for virus control, but no proper spam control solutions are available. Cloudmark has just come to the rescue of service providers with its Cloudmark MobileAuthority:

  • Software that runs on service provider's equipment
  • Suppresses spam, phishing, fraud and viruses sent over SMS or MMS
  • Main underlying techniques are the mainstream spam control mechanisms of sender reputation, content analysis, and human inspection

Other comments:

  • Assuming the technology is reasonably good, which we expect, Cloudmark should do well with this offering
  • In the US, which has been slow to adopt SMS, users perhaps receive two spams a year. In Europe, one SMS spam per week is typical. In India, you receive perhaps two SMS spam daily, in China it's more like five to 10 daily
  • SMS caught on first in Europe. It's relatively new to the US, where it's growing quickly. Jamie De Guerre, Cloudmark CTO, tells us some US operators are now carrying over one billion SMS messages per day and saw a 275% increase in volume in 2008 over 2007
  • The state of the art of spam control among service providers today is primitive. The service provider maintains lists of spammy words; where these words are detectd, the message is suppressed. This isn't good enough. It's way too labor intensive to maintain, too much spam gets through, and too many valid messages are suppressed. It's reiminscent of spam control in the early days of email-based spam
  • There's much more SMS spam than MMS. MMS is more of a problem for virus transmission

David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted January 12, 2010 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    Cloudmark Authority: Boom for Big Brother, Bust as Spam Filter

    [Source: ldrlongdistancerider[dot]com/02 ] Euphemistically packaged and sold to the American Sheeple as a “spam filter”, Cloudmark Authority is actually the email censorship software of choice in Communist China: tinyurl[dot]com/yb3vhx7

    Here in the United States, that same censorship system is installed on the email servers of many of our largest telecoms, internet service providers (ISPs), social networks and web hosting companies, including Network Solutions: cloudmark[dot]com/en/serviceproviders/

    Shortly after Network Solutions implemented Cloudmark Authority in late 2009, we and other Network Solutions clients became victims of its sinister Big Brother capabilities: tinyurl[dot]com/Defy-Cloudmark-Authority

    Since that time, we’ve experienced a regular pattern (see below) by which legitimate political email communications have either been blocked from being sent via SMTP, or blocked from being received via webmail or POP, or we have been blocked from receiving replies to those emails, or all of the above. In some cases, after multiple complaints, we have been able to get those blocks lifted. But in some cases, blocks that were lifted were eventually reactivated, even after we were assured by Network Solutions that such a thing “would not happen”.

    Ironically, the number of unsolicited commercial emails (U.C.E. or “spam”) delivered to our inboxes by Network Solutions has increased rather than decreased since they installed Cloudmark Authority (see below). So although our 1984-ish experiences validate Cloudmark Authority as a great censorship tool for Big Brother, as a spam blocker, spam filter or weapon against “messaging abuse”, it’s a bust.

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