PLDT, Smart block almost a quarter million attempts to access online child abuse materials in July

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PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) have prevented almost 250,000 attempts to open links known to contain child abuse materials (CSAM) in July alone, following a decrease in the number of blocked attempts to access these materials in the second quarter of 2022. The group remains vigilant against the proliferation of online child abuse content. 

As of July, PLDT and Smart have added more than 374,000 uniform resource locators (URLs) linked to online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) to their blacklist.  

Key to the PLDT Group’s war against OSAEC is its pioneering child protection platform that allows the telco group to block on the more difficult content level. Powered by Palo Alto Networks’ technology, the automated process runs user searches against the Group’s vault of known URLs hosting child abuse content. 

PLDT and Smart’s alliance with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and Project Arachnid of the Canadian Center for Child Protection (C3P) has expanded the blacklist which is also aided by open-source and commercial threat intelligence gathering, and links shared by law enforcement agencies. 

Once there’s a hit, customers are taken to a landing page warning them that the web address they are trying to open violates Philippine laws on child exploitation materials. Echoing peers in the industry, PLDT and Smart have also thrown their support behind the Anti-OSAEC bill which has recently lapsed into law.

Also Read: PLDT, Smart successfully block over 1B access attempts, 224K URLs linked to online child abuse

These initiatives of keeping children safe online underscore PLDT and Smart’s commitment to UNSDG #16 that promotes just, peaceful and inclusive societies including the end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.

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