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Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Hacking, Infosec | 0 comments

Why stealing data from mobile phone is not possible through SIM cloning and media should research further

The news which is making waves in the tech circle in India today was the one from Times of India regarding the SIM card cloning warning from BSNL which says , if you get a missed call from  +92; #90 or #09 you shouldn’t call them back because your SIM(Subscriber Identity Module)  would be cloned. That’s not it.

Here comes the hilarious second part, TOI claims that an intelligence official who spoke to them mentioned that the person who cloned the SIM could steal the data from your mobile and also from the the external memory card.

By the usual plagiarism followed in the news industry today, various leading tech sites published the article including thinkDigit  without researching the technical feasibility of the article.

(Note : By the time of writing this article, TOI has edited the article saying it has reservations on the claims made by the officials. )

Now lets come to the basics of SIM cloning,

1. A phreaker (a person who hacks the tele-communication systems ) snoops around the target cellphone with a Digital Data Interpretor (DDI) and collects the data, then he clones the ESN(Electronic Serial Number) and MIN(Mobile Identification Number – which basically is your mobile number) with the help of softwares.

2. When the ESN and MIN is cloned, the phreaker can listen to calls or make calls mimicking the original mobile from which the SIM was cloned.

So cloning a SIM using voice calls it self is questionable and copying the data from the mobile using the cloned SIM is impossible. Claiming that an intelligence official quoted it shows the quality of research carried over by news giants which are supposed to be one of the leading media corporation in India.

That being said, attending calls from unknown numbers or dialing back missed calls from unknown numbers is best avoided.

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Indiandragon though Developer, Hacker and Researcher by profession, he aslo writes on Movies, Sports and Entertainment in News@Indiandragon. He specialises in Technology, Defence and Information Security.