Text message joe-job

Having just blogged about spam, here’s another puzzling thing that’s been happening in the past week or so. I’ve had several messages from people claiming to have received text messages “from” webthing.com, and asking to be removed from “your list”. One of them described the text message as obscene. One mentioned a voicemail.

They look genuine, and most of them come from the contact form, which makes it particularly unlikely to be automated crap. The senders seem to have taken some trouble, to visit the site and fill in the form, and they include (US) phone numbers that are probably genuine. Most of them were also polite, which is interesting if they thought they’d been spammed.

What really puzzles me is how any text message can be seen to come “from” a website. For the record, even if some cracker had pwned the server, it doesn’t have the physical hardware (whatever that may be) to make phone calls to anywhere. I understand US phone systems are different from ours: maybe they include something akin to SMTP headers, and perhaps equally easy to forge?

Talking of which, is UK caller ID tamper-proof, or can it be spoofed? Yes, of course it can be withheld, but that’s different.

Posted on December 6, 2007, in spam, telecoms, telephony. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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