Interagency Group Formed to Address Smishing and Spam Texts
Ten government agencies have joined efforts to address the recent surge in smishing and spam texts. It has been reported by Globe Telecom that around 1.55 million texts have been sent from November 11 to 21, 2021 alone.
The group will be headed by the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) and includes the National Privacy Commission (NPC), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Security Council, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
CICC Executive Director Cezar Mancao stated that they “desire to assist victims of cybercrime to the fullest and […] bring the culprits to justice.” In order to fulfill this mandate, the CICC is developing an application and web portal where victims can report these incidents, and will likewise set up a hotline. Afterwards, the CICC will then furnish telcos with the numbers provided so that they may be blocked.
The DOJ Office of Cybercrime has also offered to coordinate with international agencies to address the syndicates behind these texts. The NPC plans on summoning five data aggregators who are eyed as possible conduits behind the surge in texts. The BSP Financial Supervision Sector has also stated that it will strengthen its fraud management measures among financial institutions.
Some other actions that the interagency group are eyeing are prepaid text and call attestation and even a SIM-registration scheme.
The full press release can be accessed here.