Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hackers Used Homemade Mobile Antenna To Send Thousands Of Smishing Messages

Officers have made two arrests in connection with using a “text message blaster,” believed to have been used to send thousands of smishing messages posing as banks and other official organizations.

These messages targeted unsuspecting members of the public.

Unprecedented Use of Illegitimate Telephone Mast

In what is considered the first case in the UK, an illegitimate telephone mast was allegedly used as an “SMS blaster.”

This device enabled the perpetrators to send messages that bypassed mobile phone networks’ systems to block suspicious text messages.

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According to City of London Police blogs, The first arrest was made on May 9 in Manchester, followed by a second on May 23 in London.

Huayong Xu, 32, of Alton Road, Croydon, was charged on May 23 with possession of articles for use in fraud and was remanded in custody.

He is scheduled to appear at Inner London Crown Court on June 26. The other arrested individual was released on bail.

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) officers collaborated with mobile network operators, Ofcom, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to tackle this sophisticated crime.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector David Vint, head of the DCPCU, emphasized the increasing complexity of such fraudulent activities.

“The criminals committing these types of crimes are only getting smarter, working in more complex ways to trick unknowing members of the public and steal whatever they can get their hands on. It is vital we work with partners to help prevent the public from falling victim to fraud,” said Vint.

Vint also provided crucial advice to the public, reminding them that banks or other official authorities will never ask for personal information via text or phone.

He urged anyone who receives a suspicious text message to report it by forwarding it to 7726.

Steps to Protect Yourself from Phishing Text Messages:

  1. Report Suspicious Texts: Most phone providers allow customers to report suspicious text messages for free by forwarding them to 7726. This enables providers to investigate and potentially block the sender if found to be malicious.
  2. Immediate Action if Scammed: If you’ve lost money or provided financial information due to a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, contact Police Scotland on 101.

This case highlights the evolving tactics of cybercriminals and underscores the importance of public vigilance and inter-agency cooperation in combating fraud.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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