Press Archive

Operators must meet the threat from Spam and Viruses head on

Dublin, 24 April 2007 – “Mobile spam’s adverse affect on both the reputations of operators and the perceived value of messaging services is currently increasing on a daily basis,” according to Max Wilkie, CEO of leading global supplier of messaging and media processing platforms to mobile network operators, Jinny Software.

“There are some clear areas for concern,” Wilkie continues, “including spam messages impacting networks’ reputations, leading to subscriber retention issues and churn, as well as undesirable and inappropriate content being targeted at specific user segments.

“Additionally, poor monitoring of off-net content, such as ringtones and wallpapers, can result in lost revenues if they are allowed undetected onto the network. With better message filtering and scanning solutions in place,” Wilkie says, “operators will also be able to implement legal interception of messages.”

Currently, most mobile network operators (MNOs) appear to be acting reactively, using whatever tools they have to intercept spam. This might involve stopping all traffic from a certain network, or shutting down service providers that breach terms of contracts. Increasingly, however, operators are looking to adopt a proactive approach to the problem.

Wilkie adds, “Jinny Software believes that spam solutions should be network-based. Mobile operators should take ownership of the security issue and maintain quality of service in the face of emerging mobile spam threats. Device-based AS/AV solutions do not address the impact that spam and viruses have on the network and they place the onus on customers to manage the threat. Management of this threat is best undertaken for both security and commercial reasons by the operators, so that unwanted messages are intercepted before they arrive at the end-user’s phone.”

“Until ownership of this issue has been resolved and responsibilities clearly defined, the problem will prevail and the onus will be on operators to protect their reputations.”

George Yazbek

George Yazbek, Jinny’s Co-Founder and Strategic Marketing Director, is one of the mobile industry’s leading minds behind mobile spam and virus security. He comments, “Mobile spam across the globe has become a significant threat to operators with many nations passing anti-spam bills. Europe, the US and many countries across the Asia-Pacific Region have acted in the past few years to put anti-spam policies in place with many more planning to follow suit in the next year or so.

“And whilst legislation or guidelines have been passed in many countries, no clear policies or charter between operators, governments and advertisers exist with regard to the handling of legitimate advertising and opposed to spam. Until ownership of this issue has been resolved and responsibilities clearly defined, the problem will prevail and the onus will be on operators to protect their reputations. What has become clear is that a MNO that gains a reputation for unfettered spam will lose customers fast,” Yazbek states.

Max Wilkie concludes, “As mobile phones become smarter and the use of data, multimedia and file sharing with PCs becomes widespread, all forms of PC malware will be ‘ported’ to the mobile world: trojans, viruses, spam and phishing. The proliferation of standard operating systems such as Symbian and Windows Mobile, as well as always-on IP connections will, technically, make the spread of malware easier. The need for operators to develop effective AS/AV strategies will, therefore, be paramount to the continued successful operation of any mobile network.

Jinny is currently pioneering the steps operators must take to ensure their reputations and businesses are not damaged by the effect of mobile spam and viruses. The company had invested several years of R&D into this area to become one of the driving forces and leaders in this space.

The latest version of Jinny’s Filtering Engine, which blocks spam and assists subscribers in personalising their messaging and multimedia content experience, as well as allowing operators to convert off-network traffic into potential revenue streams, is testimony to the company’s dedication to solve this most pressing industry requirement.