On Wed, 24 Apr 1996, Michael Morse wrote:
> >Imagine, if you will, that
> >someone developed a version of firmware for cellular phones
> >that was automatically downloadable simply by calling an
> >800 number. This firmware "patch" would let you make free
> >calls. No need to understand phones, no need to touch a
> >chip, no need to do anything but dial'n'cheat. Right now that
> >is impossible with phones:
> According to the press, something like that is happening in major cities.
> Bad guys sniff a cell phone number off the airwaves, then program a phone to
> use someone else's number. They sell the phone for $100. It's good for as
> many calls as you can make before the owner of the number gets his monthly
> bill and complains. At that time, you chuck the bogus phone or have it
> reprogrammed for some other number.
> The thing that is so mind boggling about the story is that the dollar
> amounts are staggering. Yet, the industry goes on growing and prospering.
> The moral: never underestimate the amount of fraud that the public will
> tolerate. In the U.S., at least, personal freedom and convenience are much
> higher values than absence of fraud.
This is my first posting, so please be gentle :)
To elaborate on this, Bad Guys simply hang round places where people use
mobile phones lots, such as motorway service stations, sit with a laptop
and scan analogue (V. difficult with digital phones) usage....they can
then simply (all you need is the right software and the right cables)
program a decommisioned phone (also relatively easy to get hold of) et
voila! More worrying is the advent of the so-called magic
phone, which can store many (well, about 10 at the moment I think)
authorisation codes, and randomly chooses one each time the phone is
used...these can only be picked up by scrutinising your phone bill. Or,
you could just buy a digital phone :)