Cloning refers to making an exact copy
of a substance.
Millions of mobile phones users, run at
threat of having their phones cloned.
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.
GSM : Global System for Mobile
SIM : Subscriber Identity Module.
CDMA : Code Division Multiple Access.
IMEI : International Mobile Equipment
ESN : Electronic Serial Number.
MIN : Mobile Identification Number.
•Each phone has an ESN and MIN
•When placing a call, the phone transmits both the ESN and the
MIN to the network
•Cellular thieves can capture ESN/MINs using devices such as cell
phone ESN reader or digital data interpreters (DDI).
• These codes would then be programmed into another phone,
effectively cloning the original subscription.
•Any calls made on this cloned phone would be charged on the
In CDMA system, your encoded voice is digitalized and divided
In CDMA system, cloning is done by placing a
modified EEPROM into the target mobile telephone.
ESN and MIN numbers are then obtained from the target
•GSM phones do not have ESN or MIN but only IMEI
•Cloning is done by cloning the SIM card .
• Any GSM phone can be immediately programmed
after plugging in the SIM card.
•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 speed
•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 is denied
•Frequent wrong number phone calls to your phone, or
•Incoming calls constantly receiving busy signals or wrong
numbers. Unusual calls appearing on your phone bills.
Many criminals use cloned cellular telephones for illegal
Each year, the mobile phone industry loses millions of
dollars in revenue
IMPACT OF CLONING
1. It can be used by the cloner for fraud calls.
2. It can be used by the terrorist for criminal
3. Cloned phones are not easily detectable.
4. It can be used for illegal money transfer
Blacklisting of stolen phones is a mechanism to prevent
unauthorized use. It disables the stolen cellular phones on networks
around the world.
User verification using Personal Identification Number (PIN) codes
is one method for customer protection against cellular phone fraud
HOW TO PREVENT CLONING
• A Home Office report in 2002 revealed that in London
around 3,000 mobile phones were stolen in one month
alone which were used for cell phone cloning.
• Recently the Delhi (India) police arrested a person with
20 cell- phones, a laptop, a SIM scanner, and a writer.
Resolving subscriber fraud can be a long and
difficult process for the victim. It may take
time to discover that subscriber fraud has
occurred and an even longer time to prove
that you did not incur the debts.
It is therefore mandatory to keep in mind that
a technique which is described as safe today
can be the most unsecured technique in the
Existing cellular systems have a number of potential
weaknesses that were considered. It is crucial that businesses
and staff take mobile phone security seriously.