Smart Communications releases a statement in the wake of the increasing number of smishing attacks that uses the actual names of their targets.
There have been reports that smishing attacks or spam messages are including the full names of the intended victims, which probably led some to speculate that a breach may have been the source of the information.
But that is not the case. Upon investigation by Smart. the format of the names in those fraudulent messages resemble the format used in digital services.
According to Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart, the fraudulent messages are being sent from individual SIMs. “These messages do not originate from aggregators or their customers. There is no evidence to suggest a breach in our systems that would have given perpetrators access to the mobile numbers and names of our subscribers. Upon scrutiny of these spam messages, we have observed that the format of the names mimics the naming conventions used in popular digital services,” said Redoble.
To combat the attacks, Smart has intensified its efforts against malicious text messages. Apart from blocking SIM cards that send smishing messages, they have also blocked Uniform Resource Locators (URL) linked to these illegal activities.
Based on these events, it seems that perpetrators are now using information found online, such as those on social media platforms and other digital services, to target individuals. As such, everyone is advised to scrutinize all messages received from unknown numbers and be wary of opening links sent in this way.
Smart, in their part to combat the new threat, will continue working with the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and law enforcement agencies to assist in efforts to identify the perpetrators.
Smart’s efforts to detect and block malicious messages, including SIMs and websites tied to fraudulent activities, are part of a much broader program to protect customers from cyber threats and vulnerabilities, including online fraud and other criminal activities.
To find out how you can protect yourself from smishing scams, go here: Stay safe from smishing scams: Delete text messages with suspicious links from unknown numbers.