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LIVE: Senate panels probe spam, scam texts | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

PhilstarLIVE –

September 8, 2022 | 1:25pm

MANILA, Philippines — Two Senate committees begin their investigation into spam and scam texts that have been plaguing mobile users in recent months.

The probe of the Senate public services and trade, commerce and entrepreneurship panels is happening parallel to the investigation of the National Privacy Commission, which has so far yielded no solid findings as to who could be behind these texts.

The Senate inquiry will also touch on the SIM card registration bill, which was vetoed by former President Rodrigo Duterte over its provision requiring the registration of social media accounts.

RELATED: ‘Mandatory SIM card registration puts privacy at risk, might not curb crime’

The NPC said spam and scam texts, particularly those that bear the names of mobile users, likely did not come from data aggregators and appeared to have been sent through phone-to-phone transmission.

The privacy body explained that data aggregators use application-to-phone transmission, which would show the sender’s SMS ID, like the name of the bank or organization that sent the message. Spam and scam texts received by mobile users, on the other hand, came from unknown mobile numbers.

NPC Deputy Privacy Commissioner Leandro Angelo Aguirre said names of mobile users may have been scraped — either manually or automatically — from “popular payment applications, mobile wallet or messaging applications.”

Angel Redoble, PLDT and Smart’s first vice president and chief information security officer, said that their own investigation revealed two formats of names being used, one possibly from fintech app GCash and the other from messaging app Viber.

Watch the first hearing of the Senate probe on spam and scam texts LIVE, which will start at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

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