Illegal broadcaster devices are the possible cause of “unscrupulous” messages bearing the mobile number of former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Benhur Abalos Jr. according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Monday.
In a statement, the NTC said while the case is still under investigation, Abalos’ mobile service provider, Globe Telecom Inc. (Globe), already made a preliminary probe and found that there were no “unscrupulous messages” sent from his number.
Instead, it may have been caused by number spoofing or disguising messages or calls to make it appear they come from a particular number.
The NTC did not reveal what the messages were.
The NTC said it is possible through illegal broadcaster devices prohibited by the NTC under the Radio Control Law.
“The NTC is still currently investigating the matter in coordination with Globe Telecom, but agrees with the latter that it may be a classic case of SMS (Short Message Service) spoofing,’” the NTC said.
It warned that owners and operators of such devices will face criminal and civil penalties.
In a separate statement, Globe said spoofing SMS messages is possible using base station technology, devices that can detect active mobile phones within a certain range and directly transmit messages.
“The NTC has given limited authority to use cell broadcasters for alerts and warnings during disasters and emergencies only. Unfortunately, these machines are being used illegally to spread disinformation,” Globe said.
It warned the public to be wary of suspicious messages from legitimate mobile numbers.
Abalos, the national campaign manager of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr., reported on Sunday that his mobile number was hacked and requested Globe to have his account temporarily suspended.
Source: Philippines News Agency