what is sim card cloning

What is sim card cloning ?

In earlier post we have discussed what is SIM. In this article we will discuss what is sim card cloning.  A sim is an electronic chip inside a mobile phone which have memory and mobile operator information, through which a mobile user gets services from the mobile network operator. We know that cloning means creating a duplicate copy of something.  So sim card cloning means creating a duplicate sim card with identical information as older one. Sim have applications and data inside . All information is not necessary to clone the sim to make it work.  Some key information is all needed to work the cloned sim card. Sim cloning copies the sim data from one chip to another . Here we will discuss what parameters are copied from older sim to new sim to make sim card work.  Means sim should be able to attach the mobile network and can perform voice , sms and data.

After cloning , sim card can be used for Voice , SMS etc, This is dangerous because a cloned sim is same as original sim. Person after sim cloning can get sms etc. Most of the banks uses OTP for authentication , so guy can access back accounts too.

To understand what parameters needs to copy , we should know how a sim card works ?  First thing is the SIM identity (IMSI) needs to be copied to new SIM.  Every sim card configured against the imsi in mobile operators's home network. The main components in home network are the HLR and AuC.   HLR controls the subscription for roaming and data, AuC do the authentication.  For HLR a sim needs IMSI and for AuC , IMSI and Authentication key is required. So the another parameter is Authentication key. SMSC number is also important for mobile originated sms, but that can available from mobile operator , its a public information.

How SIM card cloning is Done ?

There is a hardware called SIM card reader, which connects to a computer over USB or any other cable. The computer have installed software or driver for sim card reader. The sim needs to be cloned,  is inserted in sim card reader and software copies the data from sim to the storage. Now new sim card is inserted and stored data is copied to the new SIM.  To verify cloning,  new sim is inserted in mobile device , and if sim is successfully attaches to network, means cloning is successful.

How to avoid Sim Card Cloning ?

There is only one way, that is do not allow some one to keep your sim card or get access to it.  While giving your handset to anyone make sure that you remove your sim card. If for any reason you feel that another person needs sim card from you , then make sure he do not access sim card from any software. So always keep eyes open to avoid sim card cloning.


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