CT, phone clone

CT, phone clone

Summary: Craig Thomson says his phone might have been cloned, and that's why it appears that he made phone calls to brothels. Is it a realistic line of defence?


Craig Thomson says his phone might have been cloned, and that's why it appears that he made phone calls to brothels. Is it a realistic line of defence?

Thomson is right, of course, to challenge why his innocence or otherwise is being determined through parliament and the press. But he must have known that his list of defensive arguments was bound to invite scrutiny, in particular that big question around phone cloning.

Thomson said he believes that it's quite easy to do. Really? Phone spoofing is easy — where you cloak your phone identity with a different number — but getting a call to appear on someone else's bill is a far more complex proposition.

It's so difficult, according to Chris Gattford, a director of HackLabs, that it's hard to imagine it's within the capabilities of anyone at the Health Services Union (HSU).

But it has happened. Robert Siciliano from IDTheftSecurity.com said it happened to him in San Diego. Criminals with a scanner cloned his phone, and were able to duplicate his SIM and IMEI number. As recently as February this year, a $250 million phone-cloning scheme was uncovered in New York.

Perhaps the ultimate proof could come from looking at Thomson's phone. It could still contain records of the calls he made, and even the ones he deleted. Ed Opperman often retrieves call records to assist with investigations, including his current case, where a 37-year-old massage therapist is allegedly embroiled in a sex scandal with Sarah Palin's husband. If Thomson wants to prove his innocence, Ed suggests that he sends his phone over to him!

The truth would come out, of course, if the police were able to thoroughly investigate the evidence and present it to court, rather than having parliamentarians reaching conclusions from evidence that is circumstantial at best.

What do you think? Is phone cloning a realistic defence? Call the Twisted Wire feedback line: 02 9304 5198.

Running time: 29 minutes, 34 seconds

Topics: Government, Government AU, Mobility, Security, Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • That has got to be one of your best/worst headline ideas ever.
  • I'm not familiar with how to go about cloning, but a quick bit of a search/read seems to indicate its not really in the realms of possibility for all but very few.
    That said, the defence itself is a nominally brilliant concept on his (spin doctors ?) part. In essence it differs very little to a common 'defense' about use of P2P in that an IP address cannot identify the user who pirated the movie... just the internet connection used - with the possbility of weak/nonexistence Wifi passwords etc.
    In this case, the number listed on his phone bill would merely indicate that the Telco THOUGHT a call was made from his phone - maybe, maybe not... but it still doesn't say who actually MADE the call even if was actually his phone.
    IMHO the guy should go, but so long as there is political FUD spread he may last just long enough not to completely hang our current gov.co
  • It's not a question of whether anyone at HSU would know how to do this, but whether they would have connections with people who could. That's far more likely.