Over 200 million mobile phones were sent SMS spam in the
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned of
the rising nuisance of spam sent to mobile phones as China Mobile
issues an apology after nearly half of China's cellphone users were
sent unwanted junk text messages this week.
According to media
reports, China Mobile blamed management loopholes that allowed
seven online advertising firms, reportedly including NASDAQ-listed
Focus Media, to send unsolicited SMS messages yesterday to over 200
"This was an SMS spam tidalwave. When the mobile phones of 200
million people in China all bleeped at once to tell them they had a
new SMS spam, the authorities had to sit up and listen," said
senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Misguided companies may
be tempted to exploit modern technology in their attempt to get
marketing messages in front of their potential audience, but
spamming cellphones is simply not acceptable. China would be wise
to follow other countries around the world and clarify the rules
regarding spam SMS messages."
China is believed to have some 555 million cellphone
subscribers, and personal information is frequently traded between
different companies who wish to target potential customers.