Skip to Main Content

The phishy side of text messaging

Email is still a massive form of electronic communication, but the trend towards text messages and text messaging apps can’t be ignored. Younger generations in particular are ditching email in favor of these kinds of solutions. And you better believe that the hackers are aware of this trend, too.

When we focus on text messages in particular, you’ve probably noticed that companies are starting to utilize text messaging as a way to communicate with you. If you haven’t received text messages from outside companies yet, then you’ve probably at least received them from your mobile carrier for alerts about billing, bandwidth usage, and so on.

The unique thing about these messages is that they’re so simple. They usually come from a short number, they’re only a few lines long, and sometimes they include a link. This is a format that we’ve come to expect from text messages of this sort, but it’s a dream come true for hackers.

Just think about how hard hackers have had to work to send believable phishing messages through email that contain images and formatting that seem like the real thing. Many computer users have been trained to identify a fake email message, but all of that training goes out the window when it comes to text messages. Since the format and expectations are so different, people who don’t fall for phishing over email could fall for it through text messaging.

This is especially dangerous because it can be incredibly easy for a hacker to compose a text message for phishing. A recent article from CNNMoney showed how AT&T text messages in particular can be faked without much trouble. Hopefully more people will be trained to think twice about believing every text message, but until then…

It’s open season for hackers and text messaging


Avira, a company with over 100 million customers and more than 500 employees, is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is a pioneer in its field.