Commsrisk Top Ten for January 2023

It is fairly common for these monthly ‘top ten’ posts to begin with some news about Commsrisk breaking its own record for the most visitors in a day, week or month. However, it could be a long time before the next post that mentions the setting of any new records. In a normal month, the top spot in the Commsrisk charts would go to an article with a juicy headline like ‘Suspected Paris Bomb Was Actually an IMSI-Catcher’ or ‘Ukraine Police Raid Simbox Farms Spreading Russian Propaganda via 1.5 Million Fake Internet Accounts’. Those were the most popular articles of January until the publication of a story whose headline combined the words ‘bot accounts’, ‘pump A2P SMS’, ‘Twitter lost $60mn a year’ and ‘Elon Musk’.

If you understand how content goes viral then you will appreciate how you might write a hundred stories about Elon Musk that will be drowned out by everyone else’s stories about Elon Musk, but if you seed the right story about Elon Musk with the right audience at the right time then his star power will lift that article to extraordinary heights. And so Elon Musk deserves credit for sending Commsrisk into orbit during a month that was already set to become the most popular in the website’s history. The records for most traffic in a day, in a week, and in a month have all been obliterated. In fact, that article is so popular that it may continue to top the Commsrisk charts during February, March and April, unless I can break a story about Kanye West stealing a billion dollars in bitcoin by SIM swapping Vladimir Putin’s secret accounts using a deepfake of Bella Hadid.

The following articles are ranked by most unique views during January.

  1. Elon Musk Says Twitter Lost $60mn a Year Because 390 Telcos Used Bot Accounts to Pump A2P SMS
  2. FCC Threatens to Disconnect Twilio for Illegal Robocalls
  3. Suspected Paris Bomb Was Actually an IMSI-Catcher
  4. Ukraine Police Raid Simbox Farms Spreading Russian Propaganda via 1.5 Million Fake Internet Accounts
  5. Thai Police Cut Internet Cables Used by Cambodian Scammers
  6. Scattered Spider: New Cyber Attack Targets Telcos
  7. Twitter Blocked Big Telcos in India, Russia and Indonesia in Vain Bid to Reduce Bots
  8. How Bad Was the New T-Mobile API Data Breach?
  9. Digicel Wins $10mn Damages from UPM in Simbox Fraud Trial
  10. Is India Really Cracking Down on Phone Scams?
Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.