Cellphone cloning is not a new term in today’s era, but what is cellphone cloning? In layman terms you can define cellphone cloning as copying the identity of one mobile telephone to another.
Cellphone cloning started in early 1990’s with Motorola “bag” phones and later for the Motorola “brick” phones, such as the Classic, the Ultra Classic, and the Model 8000.
Cloning is done by using software to modify Electronic Serial Number (ESN) of the device and also by modifying MIN (Mobile Identification Number). After changing the ESN/MIN the handset becomes an exact copy of the other phone and the person can make calls or send messages to anyone where the mobile phone bill will go to the legitimate subscriber.
The impact of cloning is high, the mobile phone industry around the world is loosing revenue of millions of dollars because of the criminal actions of these hackers who are able to clone mobile phones and make calls for illegal activities such as drug crimes and thousands of dollars are billed by the cellular companies to the innocent subscriber of the phone.
Also Read: Sites To Trace Mobile Number in India
Is Cellphone cloning common
It is comparatively easy to clone a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) wireless network. Verizon and Sprint phones in the USA are at higher risk. CDMA handsets can be easily cloned using software such as Patagonia in few minutes if ESN and PIN are known.
GSM handsets do not have an ESN or MIN number, but have 15-digit IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which is programmed by the manufacturer. Cloning of GSM handset is done by cloning of GSM SIM- card present in the phone and not the internal data of the phone. To copy GSM SIM card the SIM card is removed and a device is placed between the handset and the SIM card and allowed to operate for a few days to extract the KI, or secret code. Bluetooth Hacking Software is used to clone GSM phone.
Cellphone Cloning is illegal and fraud. You can take preventive measures to protect your phone from cloning.
How to protect your Mobile from cloning
Never reveal your personal information to Telecom Companies if asked over phone, personal information is revealed only when you buy a new SIM.
Don’t take calls from unknown numbers or calls from different country code like +92, #09 and #90.
If you get missed calls from numbers starting from “#” don’t call back.
Don’t use mobile phones to share important and confidential information.
People in mobile phone cloning cannot get away from law as mobile phone has a feature of a radio fingerprint in its transmission signal which is unique for a particular handset and cannot be changed even if ESN, IMEI, or MIN are changed. Hence, cellular companies will be able to identify fraud by finding the mismatch between the fingerprint and the ESN, IMEI, or MIN.