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This seminar describes about the cell phone cloning with implementation in GSM and CDMA technology phones. It gives an insight into the security mechanism in CDMA and GSM phones along with the loop holes in the systems and discusses on the different ways of preventing this cloning. Moreover, the future threat of this fraud is being elaborated
SCHOOL OF ELECTRONICS
MOBILE CLONING TECHNOLOGY
DEVI AHILYA VISHWAVIDYALAYA INDORE
Mobile communication has been readily available for several
years, and is major business today. It provides a valuable
service to its users who are willing to pay a considerable
premium over a fixed line phone, to be able to walk and talk
freely. Because of its usefulness and the money involved in the
business, it is subject to fraud.
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. Its newness also means intense competition among
mobile phone service providers as they are attracting
customers. The major threat to mobile phone is from cloning.
Mobile phone cloning is a technique wherein security data
from one cell phone is transferred into another phone. The
other cell phone becomes the exact replica of the original
mobile phone like a clone. As a result, while calls can be made
from both phones, only the original is billed. Though
communication channels are equipped with security
algorithms, yet cloners get away with the help of loop holes in
systems. So when one gets huge bills, the chances are that the
phone is being cloned.
This seminar describes about the cell phone cloning with
implementation in GSM and CDMA technology phones. It
gives an insight into the security mechanism in CDMA and
GSM phones along with the loop holes in the systems and
discusses on the different ways of preventing this cloning.
Moreover, the future threat of this fraud is being elaborated.5/11/2014 3
HOW IS A PHONE CLONED?
METHODS TO DETECT CLONED PHONES
SYMPTOMS OF PHONE CLONING.
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES.
VICTIMS OF PHONE CLONING.
Cell phone transmits the radio frequencies with the help of two
separate channels one for voice and another for control signaling
When a call is done through cell phone along with other three
important components are transmitted- a) Electronic Serial
Number (ESN), b)Mobile Identification Number, c) Station Class
These four parts are very important to service provider since they
provide the billing information to the cellular service .
That how much a customer has to be charged. After receiving
this ESN and MIN, cell service provider verifies them with their
genuine subscriber list. If this pair is genuine then a control
signal is generated and permits the customer to make the call.
The successfully registering this way is known as Anonymous
CLONING: Cloning is the creation of an organism that
is an exact genetic copy of another.
PHONE CLONING: Phone 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.
CDMA MOBILE SETS
CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access.
A method for transmitting simultaneous signals over a
shared portion of the spectrum.
CDMA uses a Mobile Identification Number (MIN)
card that contains user account information.
GSM MOBILE SETS
GSM stands for Global System for Mobile
GSM uses a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card.
GSM is a standard set developed by the European
Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to
describe technologies for second generation (2G)
digital cellular networks.
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment
Identifier, this is a 15 or 17 digit universally unique
number of the GSM handset.
SIM, which stands for Subscriber Identification
Module. Basically the SIM provides storage of
subscriber related information of three types:
1. Fixed data stored before the subscription is sold.
2. Temporary network data
3. Service related data.
ESN, stands for Electronic Serial Number. It is
same as the IMEI but is used in CDMA handsets.
It is loaded when the phone is manufactured.
MIN ,stands for Mobile Identification Number,
It’s a 10 digit number used to identify a mobile
HOW IS A PHONE CLONED?
Capture the ESN/MIN pair or SIM/IMEI pair.
Clone the ESN/MIN pair using electronic scanning
The cloner reprograms or alters the microchip of any
The ESN/MINs are transferred using a computer to a
These devices are connected to handsets.
New information is entered into the phone.
Thus a clone of the legitimate phone is thus obtained.
HOW CLONING TAKES PLACE.
CLONING GSM PHONES
The important information is the IMSI, which is
stored on the removable SIM card.
SIM card inserted into a reader.
Connect to computer and card details transferred.
Use encrypted software to interpret details.
The result: A cloned cell phone is ready for misuse.
Cloning a SIM using information captured over-the-
air is therefore difficult, though not impossible.
As long as you don't lose your SIM card, you're safe
GSM carriers use the COMP128 authentication
algorithm for the SIM, authentication center and
network which make GSM a far secure technology.
If your cellphone is late model Motorola, i.e.,
STARTAC, or Ericsson, NEC or other small phone
with a serial port, you'll most likely require the use of
a "Copycat" device to change the ESN
CLONING CDMA PHONES
Cellular telephone thieves monitor the radio
Steal the cell phone pair as it is being anonymously
registered with a cell site.
Subscriber information is also encrypted and
A device called as DDI, Digital Data Interface can
be used to get pairs.
Stolen ESN and MIN were then fed into a new
DETECTION OF PHONE
Duplicate detection - The network sees the same
phone in several places at the same time.
Velocity trap - The mobile phone seems to be moving at
impossible, or most unlikely speeds..
RF (Radio Frequency) - Nominally identical radio
equipment has a distinguishing ``fingerprint'', so the
network software stores and compares fingerprints for all
the phones that it sees.
Usage profiling. - Profiles of customers' phone usage are
kept, and when discrepancies are noticed, the customer is
Call counting - Both the phone and the network keep
track of calls made with the phone, and should they
differ more than the usually allowed one call, service
PIN codes - Prior to placing a call, the caller unlocks
the phone by entering a PIN code and then calls as
The best detection method available in CDMA is the
A KEY FEATURE.
• Secret 20 digit number.
• Number loaded in Authentication Centre.
• Cannot be copied.
Frequent wrong number phone calls to your phone, or
Difficulty in placing outgoing calls.
Difficulty in retrieving voice mail messages.
Incoming calls constantly receiving busy signals or
Unusual calls appearing on your phone bills
According to a school of thought, the Telecom
Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) should issue a
directive, which holds the operators responsible for
duplications of mobile phones.
Qualcomm, which develops CDMA technology
globally, says each instance of mobile hacking is
different and therefore there is very little an operator
can do to prevent hacking. "It's like a virus hitting the
computer. The software which is used to hack into the
network is different, so operators can only keep
upgrading their security firewall as and when the
hackers strike," says a Qualcomm executive
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN
Service providers have adopted certain measures to
prevent cellular fraud.
Blacklisting of stolen phones is another mechanism to
prevent unauthorized use.
User verification using Personal Identification
Number (PIN) codes is one method for customer
protection against cellular phone fraud
The Central Forensic Laboratory at Hyderabad has
reportedly developed software that would detect cloned
mobile phones. Called the Speaker Identification
Technique, the software enables one to recognize the
voice of a person by acoustics analysis. These methods
are only good at detecting cloning, not preventing
damage. A better solution is to add authentication to the
system. This initiative by the Forensic Laboratory had to
be taken up in the wake of more and more reports of
misuse of cloned mobiles
Encryption: Encryption is regarded as the effective
way to prevent cellular fraud
Traffic analysis detects cellular fraud by using
artificial intelligence software to detect suspicious
calling patterns, such as a sudden increase in the
length of calls or a sudden increase in the number of
Blocking: Blocking is used by service providers
to protect themselves from high risk callers.
1. If your phone has been lost , you can use your cloned
2. If your phone got damaged or if you forgot your
phone at home or any other place . Cloned phone
can be helpful.
It can be used by the terrorists for criminal activities.
It can be used by the cloner for fraud calls.
It can be used for illegal money transfer.
VICTIMS OF PHONE CLONING
Anita Davis, a mobile clone victim. One month, her
cell phone bill showed $3,151 worth of calls in one
month, to Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Africa, and other
A Louisville woman was shocked when she got her
February cell phone bill from T-Mobile. It was ten
times higher than it's ever been before. Equally
troubling, she didn't recognize most of the phone
numbers on it.
According to media reports, recently the Delhi (India) police
arrested a person with 20 cell- phones, a laptop, a SIM scanner,
and a writer. The accused was running an exchange illegally
wherein he cloned CDMA based cell phones. He used software
named Patagonia for the cloning and provided cheap
international calls to Indian immigrants in West Asia.
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. 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.
Phone Cloning is in initial stages in India. Preventive
steps should be taken by the network provider and the
Government. The enactment of legislation to
prosecute crimes related to cellular phones is not
viewed as a priority. The cloning of CDMA mobile
phones was possible because there was no protection
to the identification information.
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