mobile2023-05-16by cytech

SMS Phishing – Smishing: Is it getting bigger and how can we get protected

SMS phishing, also known as “Smishing“, is a type of cyber attack that involves the use of text messages to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware onto their devices. Scammers often use social engineering techniques, such as posing as a trusted organization or person, to gain the victim’s trust and convince them to take a specific action, such as clicking on a link or calling a phone number.

SMS phishing can be quite dangerous, as it can result in the theft of personal and financial information, such as credit card numbers, login credentials, and Social Security numbers. Additionally, smishing attacks can be used to gain access to an individual’s device, which can lead to further security breaches, such as ransomware attacks or unauthorized access to sensitive data.

The frequency of SMS phishing attacks varies depending on the region and the specific industry or organization being targeted. However, as more people rely on mobile devices for their personal and professional communications, SMS phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common.

It is difficult to get specific information about SMS phishing, as many attacks go unreported and tracking the exact number of attacks is challenging. However, here are some general statistics and trends related to SMS phishing:

  1. In a 2021 report by Check Point Research, it was found that smishing attacks increased by 50% globally between the first and second half of 2020.
  2. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission reported that the number of reported smishing attacks increased from 93 in 2015 to over 14,000 in 2020.
  3. In Europe, a 2021 report by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) found that smishing attacks accounted for 12% of all reported phishing incidents in 2020.
  4. In the Asia-Pacific region, a 2020 report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that the number of smishing attacks increased by 2.6 times between the first and second quarters of 2020.
  5. A 2021 survey by security firm Proofpoint found that 61% of IT decision-makers in the United Kingdom had experienced a smishing attack in the previous 12 months.

These statistics suggest that SMS phishing is a growing concern worldwide, and that individuals and organizations in all regions should be vigilant in protecting themselves from these types of attacks.

To protect oneself as an individual from SMS phishing attacks, there are several steps that can be taken:

  1. Be cautious of unsolicited text messages, particularly those that ask you to click on a link or call a phone number.
  2. Do not reveal sensitive information, such as passwords or Social Security numbers, in response to a text message.
  3. If you receive a suspicious text message, contact the organization or individual directly to verify its authenticity.
  4. Install security software on your mobile device to detect and prevent smishing attacks.
  5. Keep your mobile operating system and apps up to date to ensure that any security vulnerabilities are patched.

By taking these precautions, someone can reduce the risk of falling victim to SMS phishing attacks and protect their personal and financial information from cyber criminals.

mCore A2P wholesale platform provides tools that can help aggregators decrease SMS phishing. Specifically, the powerful routing and filtering mechanism of the platform lets each platform owner filter messages based on specific parameters of each message. For example, messages that include specific words in the body of the message text or have specific sender IDs can be filtered out and get blocked before they get sent towards the network and the users.