Smartphone Hand DarkNews

PLDT, Smart block 400 million fraudulent text messages

In support of the recently implemented SIM Registration Act, PLDT and Smart have intensified anti-cybercrime efforts to clamp down on illegal activities perpetrated over SMS and online platforms.

By the end of 2022, the PLDT Group has blocked more than 17 billion attempts to open malicious domains after its Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) blacklisted 5.5 million domains being used in phishing, spam, and hoax activities. Smart also prevented 433 million SMShing messages from reaching customers. These messages often come with links to phishing sites that harvest customers’ personal data. Smart has also blocked more than 400,000 mobile numbers involved in illegal activities.

“The SIM Card Registration Law will help curb fraud and cybercrime as it will make it harder for criminals to buy SIMs anonymously. To expand on the government’s effort, PLDT and Smart cyberwarriors are working 24/7 in blocking scams and fraudulent messages, as well as mobile accounts being used in criminal activities,” said Angel Redoble, FVP and CISO at PLDT and Smart.

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CSOG’s close watch also fended off 182 million cyber-attacks and data breach incidents. PLDT and Smart’s threat intelligence sources have enabled CSOG to collect 123 million indicators of compromise in its database that it also uses for cyber-attack correlation.

SIM registration

Smart has ramped up efforts to register all its subscribers. The company has set up registration booths and touchpoints across the country to reach more customers. By the second week of January, nearly eight million subscribers of its prepaid, postpaid, and corporate services have registered their SIMs.

Recognizing children as key stakeholders, PLDT and Smart remain hard at work to end online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC). In 2022, the PLDT Group has foiled more than 1.3 billion attempts to access URLs that show child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). In December alone, the CSOG has added more than half a million URLs hosting CSAMs to its blacklist.

The PLDT Group’s child protection platform is a vital part of its fight against OSAEC. The technology allows the Group to block online child abuse materials at the more difficult content level. Its membership to the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation and Project Arachnid of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has enabled it to quickly identify and cut access to URLs hosting CSAMs.