The Ill Effects of Banning Security Research
The Indian police are having trouble with SIM card cloning:
Police had no idea that one SIM card could be used simultaneously from two handsets before the detention of Nazir Ahmed for interrogation. Nazir was picked up from Morigaon after an SMS from his mobile number in the name of ISF-IM claimed responsibility for Thursday's blasts in Assam.
Nazir had a Reliance connection and an Eve handset. Each handset of this particular model has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Cops found that two IMEI numbers were using the same SIM. Accordingly there were two record sheets of calls and SMSes from Nazir's mobile number. The record of the SMS to the media was found in only one sheet, which forced police to believe that Nazir's SIM might have been cloned and someone else was using the duplicate card, with or without the owner's knowledge.
"We stumbled upon this technological surprise that Nazir Ahmed's SIM card was used in two handsets," Assam IG (Law and Order) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said.
So far, not that interesting. There are lots of vulnerabilities in technological systems, and it's generally a race between the good guys and the bad guys to see who finds them first. It's the last sentence of this article that's significant:
The experts said no one has actually done any research on SIM card cloning because the activity is illegal in the country.
If the good guys can't even participate, the bad guys will always win.
Posted on November 6, 2008 at 6:26 AM • 37 Comments