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Title KCC ANNOUNCES SPAM MESSAGES DISTRIBUTION STATUS IN SECOND HALF OF 2023
Date 2024-04-23 Read 9439
The number of reports increased compared to the first half of the year as a result of the impact of the increased supply of devices with improved “spam messages reporting function”
The number of illegal spam messages received by users, such as stocks, investment strategies, gambling solicitation, and smishing from overseas also increased
Need to strengthen the function of intelligent AI spam-message-blocking systems operated by telecom companies

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC, Chairman Kim Hong-il) and the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA, President Lee Sang-joong) announced the status of spam message distribution in the second half of 2023 on Friday, April 5.

This data contains the results of an analysis of illegal spam message reception by users in the second half of 2023 (July 1 to December 31) and spam message reports and detections received by mobile phones and e-mails.

Investigation of illegal spam messages reception by users

According to a survey of 3,000 mobile phone and e-mail users (ages 12 to 69) across the country, the average monthly reception of illegal spam messages per capita was 13.49, an increase of 4.19 compared to the first half of 2023.

Despite the decrease in mobile phone illegal voice spam messages (0.48 cases down), the number of illegal text spam message reception increased by 3.68 cases compared to the first half.

The number of e-mail spam messages received was 3.11, an increase of 0.99 compared to the first half of 2023, and drugs, obscene materials, and gambling accounted for a large proportion by type of advertisement.

Analysis of Spam Message Report and Detection

According to the analysis of spam message reports and detection, a total of 265.1 million cases were reported by users to KISA or detected by KISA on its own, up 87.2% (96.17 million cases) from the first half of 2023.


It is analyzed that the number of reports and the number of complainants increased due to the improvement of the spam message reporting feature of mobile devices in the first half of 2023 and the spread of devices with improved features (from February to April 2023).

By the sending route of text spam messages, mass text messaging services (97.9%) still accounted for the majority, and domestic transmission continued to decline (from 83.1% to 81.2%) due to strengthened regulations for domestic businesses, while overseas transmission avoiding the regulations increased (from 14.2% to 16.7%).

A total of 4.9 million cases of voice spam messages were reported and detected, up 6.3% (290,000 cases) from the first half of 2023, and there were many types of advertisements, such as communications plan subscrptions solicitation (up 29.4%) and gambling (up 134.9%) due to issues related to the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act.

In particular, a total of 16.52 million e-mail spam messages were detected this year, up 241.3% from the first half, especially the increase in e-mail spam messages via Romania (from 0.3% to 12.3%).

The KCC worked with Samsung Electronics to minimize user exposure to illegal gambling, finance, and smishing spam messages targeting people suffering from the ongoing economic recession, and the commission will launch a pilot service for the operation of the "Spam Box Service" of mobile devices in April this year.

In addition, it has introduced a 'transmission qualification certification system' to make a healthy mass text distribution market, which still occupies a large proportion of spam message transmission, and it is pursuing agreements with text relay operators to start the system in the first half of this year.

It is analyzed that each telco should also make more efforts to improve the actual blocking rate of illegal spam messages, such as strengthening the spam message filtering policy of "intelligent AI spam message blocking service" and improving blocking performance.

Director-General Park Dong-joo of the Consumer Policy Bureau of the KCC said, "The number of illegal spam messages, such as gambling and smishing, has increased due to the economic downturn and the social atmosphere, threatening the public. The KCC is making institutional and technical efforts, such as establishing a self-regulatory system among business operators and providing the spam box service. We will further strengthen our response to illegal spam messages."


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The Korea Communications Commission
File 20240405_News_Release_Spam2023.docx 20240405_News_Release_Spam2023.docx
240405 (보도자료) 방통위, 「2023년 하반기 스팸 유통현황」 발표.hwp 240405 (보도자료) 방통위, 「2023년 하반기 스팸 유통현황」 발표.hwp
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