-209550-638174 MOBILE PHONE CLONING
Faculty name: Ms. Deepshikha Aggarwal Student name:
Divya Farswan(MCA-II year)
Sagar Gandhi(MCA-II year)
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Faculty name: Ms. Deepshikha Aggarwal Student name:
Divya Farswan(MCA-II year)
Sagar Gandhi(MCA-II year)
Are your mobile phone bills unexpectedly high? There’s a chance you are the victim of ”mobile cloning”. It is also known as cell phone piracy and has been taking place throughout the world since decades. Recently this crime has come to India.
Mobile communication has been a readily available service from many years, and it is a major business today. It provides a valuable service to the users who are willing to pay a considerable amount over a fixed line phone, they are able walk and talk freely with the handset. Because of its usefulness to the masses and the money involved in the business, it is subject to risk which can result into fraud. Unfortunately, the advance of security standards has not kept pace with the dissemination of mobile communication.
Some of the features of mobile communication make it an alluring target for criminals. It is a relatively new invention, so not all people are quite familiar with its possibilities, in good or in bad.
1. 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.
1.1 History of cellular phone cloning
Cell phone cloning started with Motorola “bag” phones and reached its peak in the mid 90’s with a commonly available modification for Motorola “brick” phones such as the Classic, the Ultra Classic, and the Model 8000.
Fig 1: showing cellular cloning
Cloning involved modifying or replacing the EPROM in the phone with a new chip, which would allow one to configure an ESN (Electronic Serial Number) via software. The
MIN (Mobile Identification Number) would also have to be changed.
Cloning still works under the AMPS/NAMPS system, but has fallen in popularity as older phones that can be cloned 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 currently remains in the realm of serious hobbyists and researchers.
Fig 2: hacker cloning the phone
2. THE CELL PHONE FRAUD
Cellular fraud is defined as the unauthorized use, tampering or manipulation of a cellular phone or service. Two main types are cloning and subscriber fraud, which are both illegal under the Wireless Telephone Protection Act.
2.1 Cell phone cloning fraud
Every cell phone should have a unique factory-set electronic serial number and telephone number. A cloned cell phone is one that has been reprogrammed to transmit the ESN and MIN belonging to another legitimate cell phone. Unscrupulous people can obtain valid ESN/MIN combinations by illegally monitoring the radio wave transmissions from the cell phones of legitimate subscribers. After cloning, both the legitimate and the fraudulent cell phones have the same ESN/MIN combination and cellular systems cannot distinguish the cloned cell phone from the legitimate one. The legitimate phone user then gets billed for the cloned phone’s calls. Call your service provider if you think you have been a victim of cloning.
2.2 How big of a problem is cloning a phone?
Each year, the mobile phone industry loses millions of dollars in revenue because of the criminal actions of persons who are able to reconfigure mobile phones so that their calls are billed to other phones owned by innocent third persons. Many criminals use cloned cellular telephones for illegal activities, because their calls are not billed to them, and are therefore much more difficult to trace. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in drug crimes. Drug dealers need to be in constant contact with their sources of supply and their confederates on the streets. Traffickers acquire cloned phones at a minimum cost, make dozens of calls, and then throw the phone away after as little as a days’ use. In the same way, criminals who pose a threat to our
national security, such as terrorists, have been known to use cloned phones to thwart law enforcement efforts aimed at tracking their where about.
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.
Fig 3: Selection of mobile phones that can be cloned
2.2 cloning detection
Unfortunately, there is no other way for subscriber to detect cloning. Events like anomalies in monthly bills can act as tickers. There are some points mentioned below.
• Continuous wrong number phone calls to your phone.
• Difficulty in retrieving voice mail messages.
• Difficulty in placing outgoing calls.
• Incoming calls continuously receiving wrong numbers. Unusual calls appearing on your phone bills
3. TYPES OF CLONING
3.1) CDMA cloning
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile telephone cloning involves gaining access to the device’s embedded file system through a specialized software or placing a modified EEPROM into the target mobile, allowing the Electronic serial number(ESN) and/or Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) of the mobile phone to be changed. To obtain the Mobile Equipment Identifier of your phone, just open your phone’s dialler pad and type *#06# to get the phone’s MEID number.
The ESN or MEID is transmitted to the company’s Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) in order to check the authenticity of a handset onto the mobile network. Modifying the mobile phone’s Preferred Roaming List (PRL) and the mobile identification number, or MIN, can pave the way for fraudulent calls, as the target telephone is now a clone of the telephone from which the original ESN and MIN data were obtained.
Fig 4: Basic CDMA cloning system
Patagonia is software available which is used only to clone CDMA phone. Using this software a cloner can take over the control of a CDMA phone and it is resulted into cloning of phone. There are many more software available in the market to clone GSM phone. These software’s are easily available in the market. A SIM can be cloned again and again and they can be used for different purposes. Messages and calls that are sent by cloned phones can be tracked.
3.2) GSM cloning
Cloning of a CDMA handset can be done easily, but it is quite challenging on GSM phones. However, cloning of a GSM phone is done by cloning the SIM card contained within, but it is not necessary to any of the phone’s internal data. GSM phones doesn’t have ESN or MIN, only an International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Since there are various methods by which we can obtain the IMEI number. The most common methods are to hack into the cellular company, or to eavesdrop on the cellular network.
The technique involves copying a GSM SIM card by removing the SIM card and placing a device between the mobile phone and the SIM card and allowing it to operate for some time and extracting the key or secret code. Usually this is done with handsets that have the option of an extended battery, so by placing the normal size battery in the mobile phone and the key in the vacant space. This is done by allowing the device to log the interaction between the mobile telephone switching office and the mobile phone.
Fig 5: Process of GSM cloning: how a phone is cloned
4. REAL LIFE CASE
A short time ago Delhi police arrested a person with 20 laptops, SIM scanner, mobile phones . The accused was running an exchange illegally wherein she cloned CDMA based cell phones. She used a software named Patagonia and provided cheap international calls to Indian immigrants in South Asia. So this is not legal to clone mobile phones.
5. PREVENTIVE MEASURES AND EFFECTIVENESS
Authentication is the only industry standard way of avoiding cell phone cloning fraud. It is considered as one of the most robust and reliable method for eliminating phone cloning. Every cell phone contains a radio fingerprint in its transmission signal and the identity of the cell phone is checked by matching the fingerprint at service provider end while making a call. This fingerprint remains unique to the mobile phone despite of any change to the phone’s ESN, IMEI, or MIN numbers. Therefore, when any discrepancies between the fingerprint and the ESN, IMEI, or MIN numbers are found, the cellular companies easily trace cloned phones.
Service providers have adopted certain measures to prevent cellular fraud. This includes blacklisting, encryption, blocking, user verification and traffic analysis.
Blacklisting of stolen mobiles is another way to prevent unauthorized use. An Equipment Identity Register enables network operators to deactivate stolen cellular phones on networks around the world.
User identification is done by using Personal Identification Number (PIN) code is one way for customer security against cellular phone fraud.
In today’s world, India’s mobile phone market has rapidly grown. It is one of the fastest growing market in the Indian economy. Mobile phones have become a major part of our day to day life and no one can survive without mobile phones. With the advancement of technology, better network availability, falling phone tariffs and handset prices making it one of the fastest growing market globally.
The mobile phone users has already crossed the 50-mn mark and that they are exceeding the fixed line users.
In our country mobile cloning is in initial stages so to prevent this condition strict steps should be taken by the network provider as well as the Government to prosecute crimes related to cellular phones, which currently is not viewed as a priority, In order to decrease this crime it is essential to incorporate cellular phone fraud, in particular “CLONING FRAUD” as a serious crime.
1. https://www.seminarsonly.com/Labels/Mobile- Phone-Cloning
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_cloning3. https://fraud.laws.com/cellular-phone-fraud/cell-phone-cloning4.ttps://www.phone.instantcheckmate.com/dialed-in/prevent-cell-phone-cloning/