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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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe the rest of the world will crack down on spam etc. too.
      Cant be that hard if the Chinese can do it.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It would be extremely hard for America though, as the only thing they master well is spying other people in telecommunication networks!!
        • by Cryacin ( 657549 )
          But look on the bright side, at least now some evil spammers are going to get shot, drawn and quartered, or whatever other creative forms of capital punishment they dish out over there.
      • Maybe the rest of the world will crack down on spam etc. too.
        Cant be that hard if the Chinese can do it.

        We have more lawyers than the Chinese.

    • What about Nigerian spammers ? They are apparently the scourge of the spamin world . Who's gonna get at them?
    • Gluing works. Seriously you glue their hands to the sides of their face with industrial cyanoacrylate adhesive. Of course eventually they'll manage to get them off but in the meantime they'll be prevented from typing and learn a valuable lesson.

  • All your mobile bases are belong to us!

  • Damn, I wish I could set something up like that for that price.... They manage to undercut us in EVERYTHING!
  • This will probably spread to the rest of the world now. Does anybody remember Microsoft Messaging and cable modems?
  • Let's all chip in for bullets so China can reward these spammers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... it would be a shame to have to pay extra for that.

  • 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 NewView ( 1088905 ) on Friday March 28, 2014 @12:03AM (#46599839)
    After my reply to Chinese SMS spam ... "Thank you for your Donation - the Falun Gong" I never heard from them again.
  • 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.

  • all for RMB 45,000 (£4,355)

    Nah, still too expensive. We need some competition in this area to bring down the rates. It is only then that the vision of an AIO spam package in every home can be realized.

  • The Chinese government would certainly go up a point in my estimation if they'd now murder these people.

    I'm absolutely serious. Then hunt down the sponsors of spam, kill them too.

    Some people may think that would be unbelievably harsh; but what's the point of a despotic, reactionary regime if once in a while it can't do the stuff nobody else dares to?*

    People always judge punishments as absolutes, when rational actors are taking punishment * likelihood = danger. If you can't increase the likelihood (because

  • 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.

  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Friday March 28, 2014 @09:01AM (#46601549) [] is a typical example. (I have no relationship with this seller, they were the first hit for a large device on 'sms modem'.

    They are basically little 'phone' modules hooked up to a power supply, antennas, and SIM connectors.
    You simply insert 32 SIMs into the device, and you have 32 completely normal phones (from the networks point of view) that you can spam SMSs with.

    They are not base-stations, they simply connect to the network as normal phones.

    Base stations would induce other phones to connect to them, pretending to be the phone network.
    The SMSs are in fact sent over the normal network, in the normal way.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?