While DoT’s efforts are targeted towards terror organisations which, security agencies claim, were using the service to fly under the radar, it will also help to curb fraud.
PayTM and telecom players have been at loggerheads for some time now over bulk SMSs. While PayTM blames telcos for phishing attacks that happen via bulk SMSs—a registered entity starts sending messages while posing as PayTM to extract account information—telcos claim that the blame lies with PayTM not having adequate defences. The new rules, however, may bring some relief for the payments company. The department of telecommunication, as per Indian Express, has asked telcos to conduct physical verification of bulk-SMS service subscribers every six months. Telcos would also need to include location data for the company as well. While DoT’s efforts are targeted towards terror organisations which, security agencies claim, were using the service to fly under the radar, it will also help to curb fraud.
However, six months is a long time for companies to run phishing scams. A better idea would be for telcos to implement blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) as Trai had suggested a couple of years ago. DLT will make sure that each message or call is traced back to its source. Similarly, companies can also use AI and machine learning algorithms to determine the content of the message.