WHAT IS CELL PHONE CLONING?
Cell phone cloning is copying the identity of one mobile telephone to another mobile telephone.
Usually this is done for the purpose of making fraudulent telephone calls. The bills for the calls go to the legitimate subscriber. The cloner is also able to make effectively anonymous calls, which attracts another group of interested users.
Cloning is the process of taking the programmed information that is stored in a legitimate mobile phone and illegally programming the identical information into another mobile phone. The result is that the "cloned" phone can make and receive calls and the charges for those calls are billed to the legitimate subscriber. The service provider network does not have a way to differentiate between the legitimate phone and the "cloned" phone.
WHEN DID CELL CLONING START?
The early 1990s were boom times for eavesdroppers. Any curious teenager with a £100 Tandy Scanner could listen in to nearly any analogue mobile phone call. As a result, Cabinet Ministers, company chiefs and celebrities routinely found their most intimate conversations published in the next day's tabloids
Cell phone cloning started with Motorola "bag" phones and reached its peak in the mid 90's with a commonly available modification for the Motorola "brick" phones, such as the Classic, the Ultra Classic, and the Model 8000.
Global System for Mobile Communications. A digital cellular phone technology based on TDMA GSM phones use a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card that contains user account information. Any GSM phone becomes immediately programmed after plugging in the SIM card, thus allowing GSM phones to be easily rented or borrowed.Operators who provide GSM service are Airtel,Hutch etc.
Code Division Multiple Access. A method for transmitting simultaneous signals over a shared portion of the spectrum. There is no Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card unlike in GSM.Operators who provides CDMA service in India are Reliance and Tata Indicom.
IS FIXED TELEPHONE NETWORK SAFER THAN MOBILE PHONE?
The answer is yes. In spite of this, the security functions which prevent eavesdropping and Unauthorized uses are emphasized by the mobile phone companies. The existing mobile communication networks are not safer than the fixed Telephone networks. They only offer protection against the new forms of abuse
SECURITY FUNCTIONS OF THE GSM AND CDMA
As background to a better understanding of the attacks on the GSM and CDMA network The following gives a brief introduction to the Security functions available in GSM. The following functions exist: . Access control by means of a personal smart card (called subscriber Identity module, SIM) and PIN (personal identification number), . Authentication of the users towards the network carrier and generation of A session key in order to prevent abuse. . Encryption of communication on the radio interface, i.e. between mobile Station and base station, . concealing the users' identity on the radio interface, i.e. a temporary valid Identity code (TMSI) is used for the identification of a mobile user instead Of the IMSI.
HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM IS CLONING FRAUD?
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) estimates that financial losses in due to cloning fraud are between $600 million and $900 million in the United States. Some subscribers of Reliance had to suffer because their phone was cloned. Mobile Cloning Is in initial stages in India so preventive steps should be taken by the network provider and the Government.
HOW IS CELL CLONING DONE?
Cloning involved modifying or replacing the EPROM in the phone with a new chip which would allow you to configure an ESN (Electronic serial number) via software. You would also have to change the MIN (Mobile Identification Number). When you had successfully changed the ESN/MIN pair, your phone was an effective clone of the other phone. Cloning required access to ESN and MIN pairs. ESN/MIN pairs were discovered in several ways:
- Sniffing the cellular
- Trashing cellular companies or cellular resellers
- Hacking cellular companies or cellular resellers
Cloning still works under the AMPS/NAMPS system, but has fallen in popularity as older clone able phones are more difficult to find and newer phones have not been successfully reverse-engineered.
Cloning has been successfully demonstrated under GSM, but the process is not easy and it currently remains in the realm of serious hobbyists and researchers.
ARE OUR CELL PHONES SECURED?
Too many users treat their mobile phones as gadgets rather than as business assets covered by corporate security policy. Did you realize there's a lucrative black market in stolen and "cloned" Sim cards? This is possible because Sims are not network specific and, though tamper-proof, their security is flawed. In fact, a Sim can be cloned many times and the resulting cards used in numerous phones, each feeding illegally off the same bill.
But there are locking mechanisms on the cellular phones that require a PIN to access the phone. This would dissuade some attackers, foil others, but might not work against a well financed and equipped attacker. An 8-digit PIN requires approximately 50,000,000 guesses, but there may be ways for sophisticated attackers to bypass it.
With the shift to GSM digital - which now covers almost the entire UK mobile sector - the phone companies assure us that the bad old days are over. Mobile phones, they say, are secure and privacy friendly.
This is not entirely true. While the amateur scanner menace has been largely exterminated, there is now more potential than ever before for privacy invasion.
The alleged security of GSM relies on the myth that encryption - the mathematical scrambling of our conversations - makes it impossible for anyone to intercept and understand our words. And while this claim looks good on paper, it does not stand up to scrutiny.
The reality is that the encryption has deliberately been made insecure. Many encrypted calls can therefore be intercepted and decrypted with a laptop computer.
WHAT ARE EMIE AND PIN?
ESN mean Electronic Serial Number. This number is loaded when the phone number is manufactured. this number cannot be tampered or changes by the user or subscriber. if this number is known a mobile can be cloned easily.
Personal Identification Number (PIN).every subscriber provides a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to its user. This is a unique number. If PIN and ESN are know a mobile phone can be cloned in seconds using some software's like Patagonia. Which is used to clone CDMA phones.
WHAT IS PATAGONIA?
Patagonia is software available in the market which is used to clone CDMA phone. Using this software a cloner can take over the control of a CDMA phone i.e. cloning of phone. There are other Software's available in the market to clone GSM phone. This software's are easily available in the market. A SIM can be cloned again and again and they can be used at different places. Messages and calls sent by cloned phones can be tracked. However, if the accused manages to also clone the IMEI number of the handset, for which software's are available, there is no way he can be traced.
CAN DIGITAL PHONES BE CLONED?
Yes. Digital phones can be cloned however; the mobile phones employing digital TDMA and CDMA technology are equipped with a feature known as "Authentication." Some newer model analog phones also have this feature. Authentication allows the mobile service provider network to determine the legitimacy of a mobile phone. Phones determined to be "clones" can be instantly denied access to service before any calls are made or received.
HOW TO PREVENT CELL CLONING?
Uniquely identifies a mobile unit within a wireless carrier's network. The MIN often can be dialed from other wireless or wire line networks. The number differs from the electronic serial number (ESN), which is the unit number assigned by a phone manufacturer. MINs and ESNs can be checked electronically to help prevent fraud.
.Mobiles should never be trusted for communicating/storing confidential information.
Always set a Pin that's required before the phone can be used.
Check that all mobile devices are covered by a corporate security policy.
Ensure one person is responsible for keeping tabs on who has what equipment and that they update the central register. How do service providers handle reports of cloned phones?
Legitimate subscribers who have their phones cloned will receive bills with charges for calls they didn't make. Sometimes these charges amount to several thousands of dollars in addition to the legitimate charges.
Typically, the service provider will assume the cost of those additional fraudulent calls. However, to keep the cloned phone from continuing to receive service, the service provider will terminate the legitimate phone subscription. The subscriber is then required to activate a new subscription with a different phone number requiring reprogramming of the phone, along with the additional headaches that go along with phone number changes.