Smishers Stand Up Fake Phone Tower to Blast Malicious Texts

London cops make arrests in connection with scam SMS messages, purportedly from official organizations, being sent out from bespoke phone mast.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

June 10, 2024

1 Min Read
A cellular tower
Source: Roger Bamber via Alamy Stock Photo

London police have made two arrests in connection with what the law-enforcement agency claims is a first-of-its-kind crime — bypassing mobile networks' security to send flurries of malicious text messages by standing up a homemade cellphone tower.

Commonly referred to as "smishing," using SMS text messages as phishing lures is nothing new, but the addition of the homemade tower the accused used as a "text message blaster," according to the cops, is a novel approach.

“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," said temporary Detective Chief Inspector David Vint, head of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), in an announcement of the arrests.

The cybercriminals reportedly sent thousands of text messages posing as banks and other organizations in an attempt to harvest data from victims, the London police explained.

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Dark Reading Staff

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