News Roundup: March 2022

3 min read

Ahead of this month’s news, we’d like to discuss something very close to our hearts. GMS is a global company headquartered in Switzerland, but we were born in Ukraine, which many of our employees call home. We stand united with the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend their homeland. 

We hope that this unjust war will end immediately, and that peace will be restored. 

Click here for our full statement 

With the first quarter of 2022 now in our rear-view mirrors, here’s our monthly roundup of the biggest news in the business messaging and telecoms space.

Spain launches the MEF SMS SenderID Protection Registry 

After a trial last year, our friends at MEF have fully launched their SMS SenderID Protection Registry in Spain. This is a registry of business messaging users, and is designed to stop spoofing of SenderIDs being used in smishing. 

Spoofing of SenderIDs is a major problem for the industry, as it allows fraudsters to fake authenticity  by appearing to be a legitimate organisation that the recipient may have a relationship with. The messages sent with spoofed IDs can even be inserted into an ongoing chain of messages that the user might have with an organisation, camouflaged perfectly. 

The new registry will allow organisations to register their SenderIDs, which will then in turn be shared with every network and industry body registered with the scheme. This should drastically reduce the ability for fraudsters to be able to spoof a SenderID. 

New EU legislation could force Apple to make iMessage interoperable with other services 

The EU has put together a new package of legislation called the Digital Markets Act, designed to limit the monopolies held by huge tech giants. This legislation could impose new restrictions on these tech giants, one of which will be that all messaging services need to be able to connect and interact with each other. For example, you could message your friend on Viber, and they could reply by iMessage without any issues. 

This would be a really interesting development for Apple, whose proprietary iMessage is very popular in the USA but has failed to take hold in Europe due to the popularity of OTTs. The important question to answer for us is how will this affect business messaging users on OTT platforms, could you send a Viber business message to a user and expect it to arrive via iMessage or WhatsApp? 

New Android malware in Google Play stealing users’ data, SMS texts 

In further mobile security news, a new malware called TeaBot has been found in the Google Play store, hidden among many seemingly innocuous free apps. This malware works a little like the FluBot virus that we covered in 2021 in that it will replace popular apps used to access financial details and prompt the user to log in. 

These sorts of insidious malware are hard to spot and also to avoid. Even if you don’t access financial apps on your device, maybe you log in to another service like Facebook and use the same password and then the scammers have that data. 

The QR code scanner was found to have been downloaded 10,000 times when identified by Google’s threat and response team, so this may have happened to a lot of people already.  

MEF’s SMS OTP Survey 

MEF recently published the results of their SMS OTP survey. They spoke to senior individuals in 450 different businesses around the world in key sectors and asked them questions about how and why they use SMS OTP or why they don’t. 

There are some really interesting takeaways from the report: 

  • Almost two out of three businesses only use SMS OTP for identifying, verifying or authenticating customers 
  • 93% of businesses worldwide use SMS OTP for some aspect of verification 
  • All methods used for identification, verification or authentication are thought to be as important as each other 
  • Most of those interviewed had some security and user experience concerns over using SMS OTP 
  • The biggest areas of opportunity for SMS OTP are in Indonesia, South Africa, Spain and India 

If you’d like to read the full report you can click here to do so, after entering your contact details. 

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