With the advent of iPhone4, the question How to use a micro-SIM with my phone? became very popular, even though [to the best of my knowledge], there are no other phones that use a micro-SIM. Besides the iPhone4, that is.
As a person who does not own an iPhone, the only reason this captured my attention is the fact that people cannot use their micro-SIM with SIM Reader, unless they employ some clever tricks that involve paper, scissors and
rock some scotch tape.
What happens when you have a curious mind, a motivation to help people, a load of old smart-cards and some expensive toys?
This is etched with a laser on a sheet of plastic. Here are some other photos of experimental prototypes of our microSIM adapter:
As soon as we're satisfied with the results, Dekart will offer free microSIM adapters with every purchase of SIM Reader.
This is what it looks like when inside our SIM card reader:
Yes, you can barely see it - that is precisely the point :-)
Backing up SIM cards and making copies of your contacts and SMS is the first thing you'd want to do if a SIM reader got into your hands.
However, there may be cases in which destroying data is more important than keeping them. In such cases it becomes a good idea to clear SIM card memory in order to prevent private information from getting into wrong hands. Here are a few examples:
In these circumstances, you should erase SIM card data before giving the card to anyone. This includes wiping SIM contacts, the SMS archive, the list of last dialled numbers, own numbers stored on the SIM card.
To clear SIM card memory, you have to manually go through each entry and delete it. This is a long and boring operation; besides that - there is a risk that you will accidentally miss some of the entries - simply because there are hundreds of records, and a monotonous operation that involves pressing buttons on a tiny key-pad of a mobile phone is error prone.
The solution to this problem is SIM Manager's Clear SIM card feature, it does all of the above in a few clicks.
Besides that, with SIM Manager you can backup SIM cards before erasing them, thus you get to keep a copy of all the sensitive information from the SIM's memory.
Take a look at this video tutorial, which describes how to clear SIM card data without leaving a trace.
With SIM Manager you can copy the contacts from your SIM card to your Google account and vice-versa.
To do so, use the "Get contacts from Google" feature.
Once you enter your username and password, the contacts will be retrieved.
SIM Manager will copy the following address book details from Google:
You can write Google contacts to a SIM card, multiple cards or save them to a file for later use.
To upload contacts from a SIM card to Google, select the address book entries, right-click and choose "Send contacts to Google".
Here you can see the SIM card address book in Google contacts:
Naturally, you can do this with a SIM and a USIM, since SIM Manager supports both 2G and 3G SIM cards.
Future versions of SIM Manager will add the possibility to synchronize SIM card address books with Yahoo Contacts, Nokia Ovi and other similar services.
The program has many other interesting features, such as the SMS recovery or clear SIM contacts.
SIM Explorer 1.3 is going to be released this week. There are several important details that are worth mentioning:
The next version will come with enhancements related to RUIM (CDMA) cards.
SIM Manager 2.5 has been released!
Apart from all the changes that have been mentioned on Lazybit.com earlier:
SIM Manager has taken a big step further, with more useful features and improvements.
First, let's take a look at the new SIM Manager 2.5:
You can see that the interface has suffered small changes. To the sidebar we've added 2 more commands to ease your navigation through SIM Manager: Info and Copy.
Info - offers you information about your SIM Card. It provides you with data like: SIM Serial Number, International Code and others.
Copy or SIM copy with batch processing as we refer to it - is something SIM Manager has been waiting for a long time. It is an improved and easy way to copy the data stored on your SIM Card or from a saved profile on your computer to any SIM Card you want.
You simply press the Copy button and a new message box appears which offers you more possibilities. You can select which sections to copy. As well you could erase the target SIM, only with a single checkbox.
A very important feature that has also been added along with the copy command is the Multiple copies feature. Only by filling a checkbox you will be able to create as many copies as you want, only with a single command instead of reiterating your steps for as much as a thousand times!
After you press Next you go to an other step where you select the SIM Card where to copy all the data
It's as simple as that, with just a few clicks your able to back up all your data or distribute all phone numbers of your employees to your fellow board members.
Apart from new features, one thing we have to mention is the improved prefix management for international phone numbers.
Now you don't have to find all over the Internet or type in the prefix of the country, but simply right-click on the contact and find Add prefix...
You will see a window where you will be able to select the country and SIM Manager will automatically add the prefix of that country.
So with all these new features and improvements we can firmly state that we have done the best SIM Manager yet. But this is surely not the last you've heard from us, stay tuned, since Dekart announces that the next major feature that will be added to SIM Manager is synchronization with online address book services. You definitely don't want to miss that.
SIM Manager 2.5 is available as a free update to SIM Manager 2.x users, so don’t hesitate and get yours now.
I often bump into ads in which somebody states that a company can clone your SIM card, or that some wise-guy has the gear needed to clone a SIM card. A slight variation is made by the ads that state that one can make a SIM card hold more than one SIM card [i.e. if you have two SIMs, you can migrate them into one, thus there will be no need to switch cards when you feel like switching numbers or mobile operators].
Why cloning a SIM card is impossible? [for a usual human being like you and me]
Because a SIM card is a smart card, it has an operating system, a microprocessor and a file system. On top of that, it has a great authentication mechanism that allows the card to determine which actions can be carried out [and which ones cannot] by a specific user. Yes – it is similar to an OS with multiple users, in which an administrator [or root] can do anything, while somebody else [say, Guest] can only read a limited number of files.
A SIM card is made of directories that hold files, each file has its own use, for instance, one of them holds your address book, another one – your SMS archive, etc. These files can be read by us – mobile phone owners.
There are also system files, such as the ones that contain information about the secret keys used by the phone to connect to the mobile network. Such data are critical, and they cannot be changed by the user – i.e. by us.
In order to clone a SIM card, every single file must be read, including the ones that hold the low-level secret information. But, as you’ve probably figured out by now – the card’s protection mechanism will simply not allow that data to be read. Just imagine that you’re logged on as a guest, and you want to copy some files that only an administrator can access. For obvious reasons – you will fail.
So, if you really want to clone a SIM card, you need to “log on as an administrator”. Simple - but not possible for the end-user. Here are some extra facts that should help you understand why things are so.
When you buy a SIM card, the operator gives you the SIM card itself, and several codes: PIN, PUK [sometimes also PIN2, and PUK2]. The card is already formatted, meaning that its file system is created and it already contains some data. The PIN is something that allows you to “log on as a guest” and use the resources such as the address book. So there’s no way you can clone the card - insufficient privileges.
But how do mobile operators make changes to the card?
As stated earlier, a SIM card is just a smart card with a special format. Assume the mobile operator buys a thousand smart cards that are 100% empty. From the very beginning, the card manufacturer gives the provider the so called transport key (a.k.a issuer key), which is what is needed in order to perform any operation with the card. Afterwards, a person from the GSM operator formats the cards, creates the needed files, assigns the PINs, etc. and then the SIM cards end up on the shelves of stores and boutiques.
The conclusion is that the SIM card’s transport key is what you need in order to be able to actually clone it. But the problem is that the key is kept secret, for obvious reasons. Think about all the damage that could be done, all the financial scams, and so on.
So, when somebody says they can clone a SIM card, it is very likely to be a false claim, unless that person is an employee of the mobile operator, and has access to the transport keys. Even in that case, you can be sure that it is illegal, because no employee is allowed to disclose such information and use it for personal purposes.
But what about brute-force attacks?
Those won’t work, because a GSM SIM card [like any other smart card] will lock itself if an invalid PIN is entered a certain number of times. Afterwards, you can still unlock the card with the PUK, but if that fails too – the card will permanently lock itself. Meaning that its data are not available, gone, nada, zilch!
Technically, it is possible, all you need is a SIM card reader (or a PC/SC compliant smart card reader), and a hell of a lot of luck – so that you could guess the right key before the card locks itself. But let’s face it; the chance to succeed is probably much smaller than the chance of a pink unicorn materializing right now, right behind you!
Back to our money-making wise-guys – most often, the ad goes like this:
“SIM card clones, any operator, any country”.
Now that’s a bold statement! If it was just a once in a lifetime deal, somebody who can clone a SIM card of a single operator (where they used to work, but got fired, and now they fight back) – it would’ve been more credible. But being able to clone any SIM card means that all the transport keys of all the mobile operators have been compromised, and nobody noticed that.
No, I am not a statistician, but I did do a minor research, which included questioning almost everybody I know (who is technically literate). It turns out that everybody heard about people who clone SIM cards, but nobody has ever seen the process of cloning, or a home-made^ two-in-one SIM card in action.
With that said, ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.
^ - Strictly home-made, because it makes sense when the operator itself provides such a service [which is not an uncommon thing]
Dekart SIM card reader is a PC/SC compliant smart card reader that can be used to read SIM cards or any other type of ISO-7816 smart cards.
A Linux driver is now available, you can get it in DEB and RPM flavours (all of them are inside the archive): http://files.dekart.com/drivers/Dekart-DK38T-Linux-deb-rpm-tgz.zip
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