Are you facing some unusual troubles like excessive high phone bills? Or are people claiming that they received threats, phone calls or texts that are not actually sent or made by YOU? If any of these answers is YES, then most probably you’re a victim of cell phone or SIM cloning or cell phone cloning!
Even if you hadn’t experienced any of these problems, but using a personal mobile phone with no additional security features, then you might be the next target of this technological terror!
Mobile SIM cloning seems to be a very fast rise now-a-days. Cyber crimes and many of the illegal activities like balance stealing, threatening people anonymously, threatening your social security, involving one into terrorist activities etc. are frequently happening around you. So it’s high time to get to know the pros and cons of this cyber crime and take proper initiatives to keep yourself safe from this.
What is Cell Phone or SIM Coning?
Cell phone or SIM cloning is a process for which information and data can be transferred from one’s cell phone to another phone without letting the owner of the phone not to notice anything. As a result the hacker can have an exact replica of the owner’s cell phone along with all of the personal data and even the SIM number! But the network service provider can’t actually differentiate between the original and the ‘cloned’ phone and SIM. So, surprisingly all of the bills and payments are taken from the pocket of legitimate users!
More to worry about is, the cloner can listen to all the phone calls and texts that are made from your phone. Money can be stolen from your mobile balance and other accounts (i.e. Mobile banking accounts or so) easily and you’ll not even notice while it’s happening!
Methodology – How Do They Do That?
For cloning a SIM or cell phone, hackers just have to take the programmed information that’s stored in your mobile phone and programming the identical information to another mobile phone which is in his hand.
There are, basically, two steps of creating a cloned SIM from another. The steps are-
Step 1: A blank SIM card or Super SIM card is inserted in a SIM card reader and extracting the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identifier) number, MSIDN number and the authentication ‘ki’ using softwares like magicism or USB SIM card reader.
Step 2: Secondly, they digitally imprint these numbers to any of the blank SIM cards which is available in the black market. It involves replacing the EPROM for CDMA based phones and copying the IMEI number of GSM based cell phones.
Once the cloner is done with that, he/she can send text messages, phone calls or all of the normal uses of the SIM card just like the legitimate user.
What’s Your Chance To be A Victim of SIM Cloning?
Let me show you some statistical data to help you understand the chance of being a victim of SIM cloning from wherever you are-
Ever single year, mobile and telecommunication companies face a loss of million dollars because if criminal activities regarding SIM and cell phone cloning that results into configure mobile phones and making innocent third persons to pay the bills which is actually stolen by the hacker himself. In United States, a recent statistics showed that yearly financial loss due to SIM cloning is around $600 million- $900 million, reported by the Cellular telecommunication Industry Association.
Talking about Asia and South-Asian subcontinent, these activities had reached to a dangerous mark in recent years. Mobile network users from countries like India, Pakistan, Singapore, China etc. is already suffering from the risk of being victims. And under-developed countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma etc. are the most probable targets of the SIM cloners because telecommunication are being vastly day by day in those countries.
So overall, there is a great chance of being a victim of SIM cloning, even if you are lining in the safest country of Asia. Before the incident happens, let me show you some preventive measures. Keep reading.
How Can You Check Whether You’re A Victim or Not?
Unfortunately, there is no exact processes through which you can surely decide whether your SIM had been cloned or not. But a closer observation of the following facts might help to doubt on your phone’s security-
- Receiving frequent phone calls from wrong numbers or hang-ups.
- Facing problem with outgoing calls regularly.
- Difficulty in retrieving voice mails.
- Your phone shows ‘busy’ every time someone makes an incoming call to you.
- Excessive charge and unusual call history show up on your phone bills.
Preventive Measures To Avoid SIM Cloning
Although there’s to particular prevention methods that would work 100% effectively. But some precautions may reduce your risk to be a victim of SIM cloning. Here are some of the suggested precautions that you should adopt right now-
Anti SIM Cloning Products/Apps:
Mobile Privacy Lab is a world’s first agency that offers Anti SIM cloning products and softwares for different OS and versions of mobile operating systems.
Softwares and Apps
However, if you’re an Android user, there some security apps I’ve got for you that would be helpful to maintain a moderate SIM security and reduce the risk of being cloned.
- Anti SIM Cloning is a free Android app that can prevent dangerous SIM cloning missed calls.
Download Anti SIM Cloning free from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mpl.antisim.free
- Anti SIM Cloning Pro is another paid Android app that can both prevent physical access to SIM cloning as well as dangerous missed calls for SIM cloning purposes.
Download Anti SIM Cloning Pro from Here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mpl.antisim.pro
Besides these security apps, maintain some measures to prevent SIM cloning as well-
- Don’t answer a phone from an unknown number before being sure about the e caller. Specially avoid numbers that begin with +92, #09, #90.
- If you get missed calls form a foreign number, specially numbers starting with #, never call back.
- Don’t hand over your SIM card physically to another person until you’re sure about the identity of him/her.
- Don’t share personal information such as your Bank account information, IMEI number of the mobile etc. with a stranger over phone.
- If someone from the other side of the phone claims to be the telecommunication company representative and ask for your private information, don’t be fooled. Because your legal mobile operator already has the information they need about you.
To conclude, using cell phone operators can be turned into either constructive or destructive ways. So beware and stay concerned to avoid any kind of conscious or sub-conscious misuse of your cell phone.