Globe blocks all texts with clickable links

In a drastic move to stop spammers and scammers, Globe Telecom Inc. has started temporarily blocking all text messages containing URLs or website links from both Prepaid and Postpaid numbers

The telco made the announcement Friday, September 30, amidst escalating reports of scam and spam messages, including SMS from unknown numbers that bear customers’ complete names.

Initiated this week, Globe’s new move will block the delivery of person-to-person text messages coming from all networks that contain clickable links.

“Before implementing this measure, what we were doing was blocking access to malicious links in text messages to help protect customers,” according to Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Bonifacio.

“This time around, we’re blocking the actual message. If the SMS has a link of any kind, we are not going to deliver it, period. This is necessary to protect our customers,” he maintained.

Such SMS blocking will be enforced pending passage and implementation of the SIM Registration Bill, which was ratified by both Houses of Congress on Wednesday, September 28, and is expected to be transmitted to the President for signature.

“We are taking this measure for the security of our 92 million customers at Globe and 66 million more using GCash as we note how the modus operandi of fraudsters are becoming even more sophisticated,” says Bonifacio.

“We hope this will make a major dent on various spam and scam SMS rackets,” he added.

“This major step reflects our commitment to the country’s economic recovery by ensuring that the accelerated digital adoption does not expose customers to worsening cyberthreats.”

Globe has been bolstering its efforts against scam and spam messages, blocking 784 million scam and spam messages from January to the end of July this year.

Through a 24/7 Security Operations Center, the telco also deactivated 14,058 scam-linked mobile numbers and blacklisted 8,973 more within the same period.

So far, Globe has spent $20 million or about P1.1 billion in capital expenditures to date to step up its capabilities in detecting and blocking scam and spam messages of international and domestic sources, including app-to-person and person-to-person SMS.

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