NEWS FROM THE LAB - Thursday, December 7, 2006

Mobile Phone Spam Posted by JP @ 14:50 GMT


The lab is receiving numerous reports of SMS Spam in Europe. The reports have occurred during the last few days and it looks to be a very interesting case. The SMS arrives with a URL that can only be accessed via a WAP gateway. Putting the URL into a computer's web browser returns a page declaring that the service is unavailable. The URL in the SMS is also is tied to the phone's number, so only that phone can use the link. Forwarding the message to another phone renders it inaccessible.

While new to phones, this stuff looks like typical spam found on PCs and includes offers for free stuff. Example: Download a free ring tone. Or at least the first one is free. Reading the download agreement carefully shows that more downloads will be pushed weekly thereafter at a cost of �2 each. Receiving SMS messages doesn't usually cost the phone user, responding to these will…

Also interesting to note is the localization. We have found several examples of German language and we ourselves have received this type of spam in Finnish. Searching Yahoo! Yielded a few cached examples in English. The spam's links point to vkap.net — registered to a German address. Searching for discussions online show that German speakers received some of these messages a couple of months ago. We think this must have been "beta" testing.

Here we have some examples of the Finnish Spam:

Mobile Spam 1

Mobile Spam 2

Mobile Spam 3Mobile Spam 4