mobile phone cloning ?
Cellular phone cloning is
copying the identity of one cellphone to another cellphone. The cellphones
can be re-configured so that the calls are billed to other persons. The
identification numbers of a victim cellphone user is stolen and re-programmed
into another cellphone.
Each cellular phone has a
unique pair of identification numbers - Electronic Serial Number (ESN)
and Mobile Identification Number (MIN). These numbers can be cloned without
the knowledge of the subscriber or the carrier through the use of electronic
Cellular thieves can capture
ESN & MIN pair using devices such as cellphone ESN reader or DDI (Digital
Data Interpreters) by monitoring the radio wave transmissions from the
cell phones of legitimate subscribers.The ESN & MIN are then transferred
into another cellphone using a computer loaded with specialised software,
or a 'copycat' box, a device specially made to clone phones. There are
other devices also such as Plugs and ES-Pros which are as small as a calculator
that do not require computers or copycat boxes for cloning. The entire
programming process takes 10-15 minutes per phone. Cloning is possible
in both GSM and CDMA technologies.
Any call made with cloned
phone are billed and traced to a legitimate cellphone account. Innocent
subscribers end up with unexplained monthly cellphone bills.
If you get your cellphone
bill unexpectedly high, you must check the details of billing where you
may find numbers whom you never called. If so, It is possible that your
cellphone has been cloned and someone else is making calls using your identity.
Many criminals use cloned
cellphones for illegal activities, because their calls are not billed to
them, and are therefore much more difficult to trace. Cloned phones are
often used to make long distance calls, even to foreign countries.
Pre-paid users are at lesser
risk, not because their cellphones can't be cloned technically but because
the misuse would be quickly detected and would be limited.
Cellphone cloning has been
taking place throughout the world for long and it has been reported in
India as well. The police has arrested people related to this crime
in Delhi and Mumbai.