28 October 2022
The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (“IMDA”) will implement two new measures to further safeguard Short Message Service (“SMS”) as a communications channel, following a public consultation in August / September 2022. The two measures are:
- Mandatory registration with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (“SSIR”) for organisations that would like to send SMS messages with alphanumeric Sender IDs from 31 January 2023; and
- Implementation of SMS anti-scam filtering solutions for telecom operators (“Telcos”) to automatically filter potential scam messages. Key Telcos will start to filter and block SMS messages containing malicious links from 31 October 2022.
IMDA announced these measures on 14 October 2022 and made available its decisions on the proposals to strengthen safeguards for SMS messages to Singapore users after taking into consideration the feedback received from the public consultation.
Set out below is a summary of the two measures which will be implemented.
Full Singapore SSIR regime from 31 January 2023
Organisations that wish to send SMS messages with alphanumeric Sender IDs must register their Sender IDs with the SSIR and only use aggregators licensed by IMDA who participate in the SSIR. Only registered Sender IDs will reach Singapore users with effect from 31 January 2023. After 31 January 2023, non-registered SMS Sender IDs will be channelled to a Sender ID with the header “Likely-SCAM”, and this will be in place for around six months.
The Full SSIR Regime will not apply to SMS labels with mobile numbers only that are sent via SIM cards and the Sender ID is tied to a unique mobile number.
The SSIR registration fees are (i) a one-time set up fee of S$500 and (ii) an annual fee of S$200 per Sender ID.
The SSIR will assign Sender IDs on a first-come-first-served basis, and may clarify with registrants if they have a trade mark or other legitimate claim to the Sender ID.
Anti-scam SMS filtering solutions
In the public consultation, IMDA proposed for anti-scam filter solutions to be implemented by Telcos in Singapore as follows:
- Filtering of scam SMS messages through the detection of malicious links; and
- Further filtering of scam SMS messages that contain suspicious patterns.
In summary, IMDA’s decision is as follows:
- Anti-scam filter solution will be installed in Telcos’ mobile networks and filtering of scam SMS messages will be done automatically via machine;
- Key Telcos will start to filter and block SMS messages containing malicious links from 31 October 2022. This service will be extended to subscribers of mobile virtual network operators on the respective Telco’s network; and
- Further filtering of scam SMS messages that contain suspicious patterns will be phased in from 2023 onwards.
The following materials are available on the IMDA website www.imda.gov.sg: