Scams, Spoofing and Impersonation
Businesses and political campaigns are increasingly relying on SMS messaging for critical communication with customers and constituents. Businesses use SMS for sales, service, marketing, simple notification, and two-way conversation. Political campaigns use SMS to drive awareness, donations, and get out the vote.
As SMS has increasingly become a channel of choice for these use cases, hackers and bad actors have taken notice. SMS is a viable attack vector. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission calls SMS attacks a “Triple Threat.” There is even a moniker for these attacks – Smishing – a clever combination of the phrases “SMS” and “Phishing” (coined in a McAfee blog post, 2006).
- Beto Impersonation
In the 2018 Texas Senatorial campaign, bad actors infiltrated the Beto O’Rourke campaign and used SMS to spread damaging misinformation.
- Apple Spoofing
In early 2019, mobile phone users in Australia received spoofed SMS messages from Apple trying to get users to click on a fraudulent link.
- Smishing Attack
In 2019, A Knoxville, Tennessee cancer survivor was “smished” into sending $500 by scammers touting a government benefit.
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