Starting December 1st, the Department of Telecom (DoT) of India gave directives to cellphone providers to start blocking handsets which do not have a valid IMEI code. Most of the handsets that were blocked are manufactured in China, and sell cheaply in India.
Considering that 24 million handsets will be blocked, you will definitely see some crooks play tricks with their phones. They might try to fool cellphone service providers by hacking the handset and adding a false IMEI to it.
Can IMEI Number be faked?
Whenever technology moves forward, you will see the good side, and also the bad side in the form of hackers and crackers. Cracking a phone and adding IMEI to a phone may not be that easy. However, with the help of certain software, it can be done in less than 5 minutes..
Performing a search for IMEI hacks will give you millions of results. Considering the number of people who will be blocked by cellphone service providers, expect search for terms like these to be very high in the next few days.
However, IMEI cannot be spoofed without valid IMEI numbers. Though, they can be obtained from stolen phones or cellphone service providers. The latter might be a bit difficult, but imagine the amount of phones stolen everyday, and how easy it would be for someone to use the IMEI from stolen phones.
How To Get Your IMEI Number?
You can see the IMEI number of your phone when you open up your phone and remove the battery. However, you can view it the easier way too by typing *#06# on your handset. Once you do that, you will see the IMEI for your phone, copy the IMEI number to a safe place so that you can use it in case your phone is lost or stolen.
What to Do If your Phone Is Stolen or Lost?
If you lose your handset or if it’s stolen, call up your cell provider and have them block the IMEI immediately, lest it falls in wrong hands and lands you into trouble.
Once the IMEI number is blocked all service providers will block the phone using that IMEI number. It cannot be used again unless the IMEI is unblocked.
Blocking IMEI is a huge step forward, however it is definitely not a foolproof way and should not be used as the only way, when it comes to securing a country.
Hopefully DoT and cellphone service providers will come up with a much better way to do this. What do you think? Do you think that blocking IMEI numbers will make you feel safer? Do you have any other ideas? Do share them with us.