Why more than 168,000 Valentine’s day text messages arrived in November

This one has been reported quite a lot over the last 24 hours or so.

Makes me wonder: how do text messages get sent in the UK? Is it a similar mechanism to the US?

Jon Callas, a senior technology fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union, said text messaging technology is “an incredible mess of software,” in which multiple intermediary parties stand between users and carriers. That structure has the potential to create a number of privacy and security issues when a third-party vendor encounters glitches or has its data compromised.

1 Like

I’ll report back on this! Couldn’t find anything immediate with Syniverse and UK SMS routing, but it wouldn’t surprise me – they’ve done it for several countries. Also, they do handle number porting in the UK…


they do handle number porting in the UK…

Yep, having them be in control of that is a bit concerning after such an incident. I’m also surprised why number porting isn’t managed by either the government or a consortium with all the UK carriers contributing. Not that they’d do a better job in practice, but at least in theory it would be in their best interests not to screw it up, so still better than a random third-party.


This! Belgium know what’s up; their regulator BIPT handle this, and you can switch numbers immediately…