The Shellshock bug

The Shellshock Bug is a serious vulnerability in GNU Bash, related to
how environment variables are processed.  Trailing code in function
definitions was executed, independent of the variable name. In many
common configurations, this vulnerability is exploitable over the
network.

The upstream maintainer of GNU Bash has released an official patch
and all World Text servers were patched on Thursday the 25th of September 2014.

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New VSIM inbound coverage added

Effective from 1st October 2014 we are please to announce additional inbound coverage using the World Text Virtual SIM Hosting service. This now enables inbound and two way text messaging for the networks indicated below.

  • Kazakhstan – Altel
  • Mali – Orange

Please contact us for further information.

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Rwanda SMS Virtual Numbers

Available with immediate effect are Rwanda SMS Virtual Numbers, utilising landlines for two-way and inbound SMS text messages.

Contact us for further information.

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NEW VSIM coverage added

We are please to announce new coverage for the World Text VSIM Hosting service. With effect from 1st September 2014 the following networks will be included in the Virtual SIM inbound coverage list of support networks.

  • Afghanistan – AWCC
  • Bangladesh – Banglalink
  • Guinea – Orange
  • Laos – Millicom
  • Panama – Telefonica

For further information please contact us.

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Malaysia SMS Virtual Number

World Text are pleased to announce that with immediate availability you can now rent a Malaysia SMS Virtual Number for inbound and two-way SMS text messages.

+60 Malaysia SMS Virtual Numbers (aka long numbers / codes) are ideal for local rate communications with users in country.

For further information or to order yours, please contact us.

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Costa Rica & Indonesia SMS Virtual Numbers

We are pleased to announce that with immediate effect are SMS Virtual Numbers for Costa Rica (+506) and Indonesia (+62) are available.

Adding to the extensive World Text SMS Virtual Number coverage, inbound and two-way SMS, this now brings the total to 41 countries via dedicated operator supplied virtual number. In addition to this we have extensive coverage via the World Text Virtual SIM Hosting service for those hard to reach countries.

Please feel free to contact us for further information and to order.

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Virtual SIM Hosting Coverage

We are please to announce extended inbound coverage for the World Text Virtual SIM Hosting service. As an alternative to SMS Virtual Numbers where there is no inbound SMS coverage, VSIMs operate in the same method providing high throughput and reliability which is not possible with GSM modems.

From 1st August 2014 the following networks:

  • Armenia – Armtel
  • Chad – Tigo
  • Equatorial Guinea – Greencom
  • Kyrgyzstan – Sky Mobile
  • Tajikistan – Tacom
  • Thailand – AWN
  • Uzbekistan – Coscom

For further information on the World Text Virtual SIM hosting service please contact us.

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South Korea SMS Virtual Numbers, price drop

The cost for South Korea SMS Virtual Numbers has been reduced with immediate effect.

New rates:

Setup £25+VAT

Rental £25+VAT (per month)

This represents a saving of over 66% from the original costs. There is no charge for receiving SMS and these can automatically be passed to you via the original Auto Responder (HTTP or Email) or over SMPP.

For further information regards pricing, setup and how to use World Text SMS Virtual Numbers for inbound and two-way text messages please contact us.

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Belgium and Turkey SMS Virtual Numbers

SMS Virtual numberNew SMS Virtual Numbers newly added and coming soon.

During 2014 World Text will be adding to its market leading SMS virtual number coverage:

Belgium SMS Virtual Numbers (+32) – Available now

Turkey SMS Virtual Numbers (+90) – Due late 2014

These two key additions will add to World Text’s ever growing inbound SMS services, which will further enable two-way text messages for business, marketing and M2M SMS.

Having a local SMS virtual number which is recognisable can not only be more engaging for the recipients, but in addition to this users replies are often free as part of any ‘text bundle’ they may have on their mobile contract.

Messages to short codes are often not included as part of a users text message allowance, for for extended and multiple inbound / two-way SMS text messages World Text SMS Virtual Numbers would be preferred by the users.

For further information please contact us.

 

 

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ICO raids a SIM farm blamed for 350,000 messages

Another SIM Farm Spammer Raided

no-spamLast week ICO seized hundreds of SIM cards, whilst raiding a SIM farm in offices in Wolverhampton.

It’s estimated that the equipment was being used to send somewhere between 350,000 and a million messages.

Sad to say, then, that it will be but a drop in the bucket!

Computer equipment and paperwork were seized, and a residential address was also searched. The investigation is ongoing.

Andy Curry, Enforcement Manager at the ICO, said:

“What we’ve seized today backs the intelligence we had that hundreds of thousands of nuisance messages were coming from this address. The rules on sending messages are clear, and if the evidence proves the law has been broken, we will issue a sizeable fine against those responsible.”

7726 / SPAM Reporting

spamApparently the raid was triggered by use of forwarding to 7726 – the UK wide spam reporting number – if you get a junk text, forward it there!

I suspect this means that they received a LOT of reports, as they need a certain level of complaints before anything happens.

It would be nice if the networks pushed this feature a little wider – general knowledge of the SPAM report number doesn’t seem that great. If every bill or SIM card pack had it prominently shown, then perhaps a real dent could be made in the endless scam and PPI texts.

Better yet would be for the networks to treat a report as an individual block. Report a number for spam and your own number never gets a text from them again. It’s all very well having the legal requirement for SMS to have an opt-out and honour STOP requests, but if you’re breaking the law with your SIM farm, using grey routes on a PAYG SIM, then it’s vanishingly unlikely you’ll honour a STOP request!

The end user has no way of tracing where the texts are coming from, or via which aggregator, so getting off the list isn’t always easy.

Just Cost of Doing Business?

moneyThis raid follows an announcement by the ICO last Tuesday (20th May) that a Yorkshire direct marketing firm and a Devon PPI claims company were told they face fines totalling £140,000 for breaching electronic marketing rules. The companies were linked to thousands of nuisance marketing calls and prompted over 1,200 reports to the ICO and the Telephone Preference Service.

I have to wonder whether fines of that level are remotely adequate – with the level of profit involved in PPI claims it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the company just sees the fine as a marketing cost.

All of us at World Text would like to see better responses and more action – we hate spam and do our utmost to never be part of the problem!

So How Should it be Done?

mobileSimple!  Take an SMS virtual number, or short code (depending on your budget), and then you can honour STOP requests and process a whole range of keywords.  You can direct requests to the right info list, or department, take enquiries on specific products or services etc.

It should be marketing step 1, but not removing people from your lists isn’t going to get you more sales.  What it might get you (aside from the possible raid and fine as mentioned above), is some very irate people.  These people will be glad to mention your company and marketing, albeit for all the wrong reasons!

Even if you’re a micro business that doesn’t have time for all that new fangled social networking, you can appear delightfully accessible with a simple range of keywords on your marketing text number.  It can come in directly to your email and you can reply from there.  Soon you might grow enough that you do have time for all that social stuff!

Isn’t that better than spamming them ’til they bleed, or you get raided?

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