The AI-powered fight against SMS spam

OpenMarket – November 27, 2018

In recent years, organizations everywhere have turned to SMS to communicate with their customers. This has been good for customer experience and great for business.

But all this new A2P traffic has had an unfortunate – albeit inevitable – consequence: a rise in the incidences of spam messages and phishing attacks.

Unfortunately, some actors have also been trying to exploit mobile messaging ‘grey routes’ (back-door routes disguised as personal SMS messages to avoid mobile operator fees and rules). These routes, which are often directed through multiple countries (and back again), can be fertile ground for spam and phishing attacks.

Stepping up efforts

Compared with other communication channels, SMS is a relatively “clean” experience for businesses and their customers. Network operators and leading SMS providers have worked hard to keep those who damage the customer experience out of the system – through vigilance and the use of spam filters and firewalls.

But the ecosystem is changing fast.

As messaging fraud becomes more complex and highly fragmented, spam texts are now a growing threat to both consumers and organizations. These emerging security challenges come as the role of technology becomes ever more central to business and society – and the consequences of spam and phishing attacks become more profound.

It’s time for players in the A2P messaging arena to step up their efforts to combat spam and fraud – by turning to new technologies.

AI vs spam

AI-powered solutions have emerged as a highly effective way to curtail these unwanted messages and counter the evolving threat of SMS fraud. Advanced machine learning algorithms are now able to help analyze message traffic, identify the intent and origin of that traffic, and block any suspect messages.

In an ongoing effort to improve our service and protect our customers, OpenMarket is working closely with RealNetworks to implement a pilot deployment of Kontxt, a machine-learning platform for anti-spam and fraud platform.

Kontxt will enable us to unpack the semantics of a message in real time, so we can classify messages as safe, suspect or malicious and take immediate steps.

The A2P mobile messaging industry needs to leave no stone unturned in its fight to rid the network of unwanted traffic. As a new era of rich mobile messaging emerges, it will become imperative to push the technological boundaries to protect our business customers, and to improve the experience of their users.

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