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Virtual SIM Cards: A New Headache For Security Agencies

Srinagar: Digital SIM playing cards pose a brand new headache for safety businesses preventing terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir as their use within the valley has seen a rise amongst terror teams to attach with their handlers in Pakistan, officers stated right here.

The penetration of this new know-how was present in 2019 when a request was despatched to america to hunt particulars from a service supplier of “virtual SIMs” utilized by suicide bomber of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group concerned within the Pulwama assault that left 40 CRPF personnel useless.

Nevertheless, an in depth investigation performed by the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) and different safety businesses indicated that over 40 digital SIM playing cards have been used within the Pulwama assault alone, and there are most likely extra of them floating within the our on-line world of the valley, the officers stated.

It’s a pretty new modus operandi whereby terrorists throughout the border are utilizing “virtual SIM” playing cards, generated by a service supplier from a international nation. On this know-how, the pc generates a phone quantity and the person downloads an software of the service supplier on their smartphone.

The quantity is linked to social networking websites like WhatsApp, Fb, Telegram or Twitter. The verification code for activating the service is generated by these networking websites and acquired on the smartphone.

The officers stated the numbers used have been pre-fixed with a rustic code or Cell Station Worldwide Subscriber Listing Quantity (MSISDN) quantity.

They stated that, apart from telecom corporations within the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, numbers of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island being managed by the US, are doing the rounds available in the market.

Each cell phone instrument is distributed for an in depth forensic evaluation to have a radical verify to search for any telltale indicators of use of digital SIM playing cards, the officers stated.

Expertise has its execs and cons, and whereas preventing terrorism, the safety businesses must not solely sustain the tempo but additionally transfer a step forward of these planning to misuse it, says an official.

The chance of forging identities throughout buy of digital SIM playing cards additionally runs excessive.

Throughout investigation of the 26/11 Mumbai assaults, it was discovered that an quantity of USD 229 was wired to Callphonex, through Western Union Cash Switch receipt quantity 8364307716-0, for activating the Voice Over Web Protocol (VoIP) used in the course of the strikes.

The cash was acquired from ‘Madina Trading’ situated in Brescia in Italy and sender was claimed to be Javed Iqbal, a resident of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Nevertheless, after Italian police arrested two Pakistani nationals in 2009, it was alleged that the agency had made almost 300 transfers within the title of Iqbal, who most likely had by no means set his foot in Italy.

The Italian police, whereas concluding the probe, had stated the Brescia-based firm made a number of transfers utilizing the id of harmless, unsuspecting individuals, whose id playing cards or passports might need been stolen.


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