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China Crime Security

China Arrests 1,500 People For Sending Spam Messages From Fake Mobile Bases 35

concertina226 (2447056) writes "Chinese authorities have detained a total of 1,530 suspects in a crackdown on spam SMS text messages being sent out by illegal telecoms equipment, according to Chinese news agency ECNS. Over 2,600 fake mobile base stations were seized and 24 sites manufacturing illegal telecoms equipment shut down as part of a massive nationwide operation involving nine central government and Communist Party of China departments. A report released by Trend Micro this month looked into the telecoms equipment black market in China (PDF) and found that cybercriminals routinely use either a GSM modem, an internet short message gateway and an SMS server to send out spam messages. On the underground market, SMS servers come in 'all-in-one' packages that include a laptop, a GSM mobile phone, an SMS server, an antenna to send out the fake signal and a USB cable, all for RMB 45,000 (£4,355)."
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China Arrests 1,500 People For Sending Spam Messages From Fake Mobile Bases

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  • Great. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:05PM (#46599265) Homepage

    Maybe next they'll crack down on phishing emails and set an example for the rest of the world.

  • Rare these days (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @11:54PM (#46599791) Homepage

    SMS spam used to be a huge deal in China. Couldn't go a day without 4-5 of them, mostly advertising illegal goods and services. Some magazine that was less loyal to China than others did a big investigation once, and it turned out that China Mobile employees were selling out their service to spammers on the side. Not a surprise at all to anyone who has done business here.

    However, with the advent of Android phones with replacement SMS clients, the problem largely went away for me. I set up a blacklist and it works great. As a matter of fact, the spam SMS that I don't receive come from China Mobile itself. (Once in a while I'll click "show blacklisted messages" just to check.) There are also MMS spams, but as I have never in my life received a legitimate MMS, those have all been blacklisted as well.

    These days the big growth is in Weibo and Wechat spam. What will happen is that one of your friends gets paid a shockingly small amount to "promote" the usual garbage - shoes, clothes, etc. Then your feed gets not only their messages you're interested in, but also this crap. If you complain, they tell you to block them which frankly is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The more interesting the person, the more valuable they are to spam marketers. I've even seen positions advertised for "social marketing companies" (pro spammers) to enable this sort of trash. You'd think foreigners would be too classy to work in this kind of scumball industry...but then you'd be wrong. SO many foreigners are in China these days because they are talentless and unemployable at home. Liberal Arts degrees and $80,000 in student loans don't mix as well as you might think.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Friday March 28, 2014 @12:03AM (#46599843)

    Are Chinese authorities going full FDA on these people out of concern about spam, or about the manufacturing of unofficial telecom equipment? Their worst nightmare would be having the Internet make a great leap forward over their prized national firewall, letting the outside world flood in.

  • IMSI Catchers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Friday March 28, 2014 @08:10AM (#46601299) Homepage

    The big news here is Chinese are selling $7400 20W 885915MHz/930960MHz IMSI catchers. Not for spying, but for spamming SMS to nearby phones.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser