SIM Card Copy

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at
Mon Nov 26 19:24:57 CET 2007

On Nov 26, 2007 10:49 AM, Cailan Halliday <chocolate.usa.chan at> wrote:
> I just had an idea that I got from a couple of devices, how about a virtual
> SIM card? Is it possible to make an ISO of a SIM card and store it in the
> Neo to be, for lack of a better word, booted from? I've seen devices like
> these:

There are also cheap USB SIM readers, and I got the impression that
they could write to the card as well.  So I got one on ebay.  The
software that came with it (only for Windows) could only read the
card.  I wish there was a Linux alternative, especially one that can
also write the contacts to the SIM.  (But since the Neo itself could
do that, I guess it's no longer necessary.)

Anyway the problem is not just the ability to copy some info from one
SIM to another, but the fact that the SIM has an uncopyable unique
serial number and maybe a hardware crypto engine (?).  And the code
for the GSM radio is not open-source.  So there is no way to fake the
SIM card.  (This was meant to be a feature.)  But it might be possible
to emulate a SIM card in hardware, in such a way that different images
could be used at different times; I don't know of any attempts to do
that, but it seems like it should be possible.  Then again, maybe
there is a truly private key that cannot be read at all, but can only
decrypt data that has been encrypted with the corresponding public

Or you could try one of the SIM card duplexers that are sold (I never
did... not sure how well they work).  Those are meant for people who
travel a lot, to be able to switch to a different SIM without
physically swapping it out each time.

If the point is to clone a SIM card, I'm sure that would be considered
fraudulent, and might play havoc with the network too if they see the
same phone signing on to a couple different cell sites.

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