Laptop Hand Dark Sora Shimazaki Pexels

PLDT, Smart block 250,000 attempts to access online child abuse materials in July

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) continue to clamp down on the spread of child abuse materials (CSAM) online.

In July alone, PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) has prevented almost 250,000 attempts to open links known to contain CSAM, following a decrease in the number of blocked attempts to access these materials in the second quarter of 2022. PLDT and Smart remain 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.

PLDT, Smart laud strengthening of online child protection law
PLDT, Smart block almost 78,000 SIMs tied to ‘job offer’ scam

Child protection platform

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.

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