SIM Card Copy

KISS Attila atlasznak at
Mon Nov 26 19:56:21 CET 2007

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

Hi guys!

Well, theoretically it is possible to copy the SIM card and it is also 
possible to emulate it. There are several solution for this used primarily 
on fake satelitte decoder chipcards. (they are based on the same standards 
as SIMs are) The copied SIM has several advantages you may like:
- maximum available entries for both SMS and phone numbers your phone could 
support (up to ~250)
- unlimited access to any phonebook on the card, even to protected 
- you can store several keys in one card and switch between them using a 
special sim toolkit application, etc..

Small disadvantages:
- you need to break the weak to medium quality keys in the original SIM as 
they are well protected. it may take anythong from 15 minutes to weeks 
depending on the ecryption algorithms used and your reader speed
- you can forget gsm banking applications, which use sim toolkit apps
- some operators cancel only your subscription in the better case, if they 
catch you
- it's illegal in a lot of countries. (lawyers in US would eat you alive..)

And it still doesn't solve one of the main issues:
- you cannot be online on multiple networks at the same time

I would say that this is not a working way for most of customers...


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