Cloudmark Goes After SMS Exploits

The carrier-grade mobile messaging security system provides content filtering, reputation data, and monitoring of text and multimedia messages.
Text messaging is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace and be a big moneymaker for carriers, but there's growing concern that criminals could use SMS for malicious purposes.

With this in mind, Cloudmark has introduced a mobile messaging security system aimed at mobile operators. The product, known as MobileAuthority, offers carriers expert security recommendations, and it enables them to detect malicious text and multimedia messages, as well as identify senders.

"The continued rapid growth of mobile messaging has created an environment that is ripe for abuse by attackers, and the situation will undoubtedly worsen for both operators and their customers if steps are not taken to address messaging security," said Michael Osterman, founder of Osterman Research, in a statement. "There is a growing need for solutions that will not only protect customers from messaging threats, but also relieve the cost and infrastructure burden that mobile spam volume is placing on operator networks."

Mobile phones haven't been attacked to the same degree that desktop computers have, but many security experts believe it's only a matter of time because more people are carrying important information on these devices. Criminals may not be able to reach these devices through the Internet, but nearly all of them can be reached by SMS.

Symbian has recently faced malicious coders trying to take advantage of some SMS vulnerabilities. The "Curse of Silence" exploit enabled remote attackers to disable a handset's messaging capabilities with a single malformed SMS. Another exploit used an SMS to spread a Trojan that steals money from wireless subscribers. Symbian has fixed both exploits.

Cloudmark said it's utilizing its history of online messaging security to tackle the mobile security issue. The company said it has received a lot of interest from text-heavy operators in the Asian markets, as well as proactive carriers that see SMS security as a differentiator.

Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to mobile device. InformationWeek analyzed this issue and determined the best practices, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).