People have doubts or paranoia surrounding IMEI numbers the majority of the time. They are arbitrary numbers inscribed on various phone components. They are believed to be used to identify the phone’s components and the device itself, but some bizarre ideas hold that they are employed to invade our privacy and monitor us.
No, your phone cannot be hacked by someone by using the IMEI. However, there are certain other things that can be done by the person who has knowledge of your phone’s IMEI. The fact that if IMEI is compromised it can be dangerous cannot be overlooked.
This article will discuss whether someone can hack your phone just through the IMEI. Furthermore, the preventive measures to avoid IMEI getting compromised and its possible consequences will be discussed as well.
What Does IMEI Stand For?
International Mobile Station Equipment Identity Code (IMEI) is a number used to identify equipment that uses terrestrial cellular networks. It’s the network you use while making a phone call, and it’s given by your cellular service provider in accordance with your data plan.
Due to the fact that these gadgets do not utilize satellite networks, but rather antennas or towers in the region, they depend on this form of network. The International Mobile Device Number identifies mobile devices worldwide.
This may appear to be an apparent number, but so many people are unaware that laptops as well as other gadgets that carry wireless connections or 3G/4G networks, as well as phones with dual-sims, also include this sequence of numbers on each sim card.
Smartphone theft has become a lucrative industry in recent years, with one survey from Consumer Reports estimating that 3,1 million Americans fell victim to this practice in 2013. This was about double what the group anticipated had been taken the previous year.
However, technological advancements have made it feasible for your smartphone to be stolen even if it stays in your hands, similar to a credit card.
Indeed, mobile networks employ IMEI numbers to validate devices so they may deny network access to smartphones whose owners have reported them lost or stolen.
How Does The IMEI Number Function?
In summary, the purpose of IMEI numbers would be to identify and locate devices, allowing you to access the network and preventing theft.
If someone takes your phone as well as you notify it, its IMEI number could be traced and halted, allowing you to have the IMEI code banned from networks, preventing networks from entering or leaving your phone, and rendering it nearly worthless to the thief.
It is still hard to obtain the IMEI number without causing damage to the device if a thief intends to steal and afterward tries to do so. These numbers are hard-coded and encrypted in sections of the gadget that cannot be removed without causing damage.
Some may believe that the IMEI number is restricted just to terrestrial cellular networks, but this is not totally accurate. One network may alert others to follow suit and block the number worldwide, leaving the phone unprotected and simple to trace.
What Is Possible With My IMEI Number?
Yes, but not in the sense you may expect; there are numerous explanations to do this. With a warrant, the government may keep an eye on the number itself, find it, and access information about it.
However, it cannot identify the owner, as there are millions of IMEI numbers so the authorities cannot assign a name, ID, or even a photo to each one. Furthermore, the government can track those with suspicions or illicit behavior, which is a good thing.
However, certain IMEI numbers may be associated with people or IDs. Depending on whether you signed a contract with your cell carrier and entered your information into the device, the government may have access to your data, but only after obtaining a warrant.
If you have nothing at all to hide, you don’t have to be concerned about the administration invading confidentiality through all the IMEI numbers because the government doesn’t have the interest to locate each individual; unless however, you are a person of interest in a criminal investigation.
True, not every cellphone does have an IMEI number, as it is unlawful to sell or buy them in most situations. However, this does not indicate that the phones are good since the handsets that lack identification are typically counterfeit or phony and are already dangerous to the user.
But still, they may have their own GPS trackers or privacy-invading technology, therefore possessing such a phone can compromise your privacy.
For legal grounds, you can trace your phone or place it under surveillance. There are also claims that several government officials carry phones lacking IMEI numbers, preventing counterintelligence authorities from tracking them.
How To Verify An IMEI Number?
If you are purchasing a new phone, you may locate the IMEI number on the packaging and get it examined. Those without a new phone can perform an online IMEI check by entering “#06#” on the number pad and pressing the call button.
How Can I locate My IMEI Number?
First, your IMEI number is written on a sticker and affixed to the device’s packaging. It resembles a number-based barcode. Devices having dual SIM card slots would’ve had two IMEI numbers.
The second method would be to enter *#06# into your call app, which would then show the relevant information in a box. This method can also be relied upon in addition to other methods which have been elaborated on before.
Why Should Your IMEI Number Never Be Shared?
A device’s IMEI number may be used to prohibit or blacklist it. After giving the essential information for verification as well as the IMEI number, your mobile phone might be rendered inoperable if an impostor contacts the telecom operator to report a stolen device.
Advantages Of an IMEI Number
Numerous advantages of this number outweigh the risk of being watched by the government, which may not be utilizing your information in a malicious manner. Certain of them are:
- Before purchasing a secondhand phone, you may determine whether or not it is stolen by entering the IMEI number of the device into a website that will tell you exactly what characteristics it has and whether or not it is blacklisted or reported.
- IMEI numbers have stopped numerous crooks from snatching phones, they can be monitored or disabled on networks, and you need not worry about your data being shared.
- There have already been millions of such knock-offs of popular phone brands, and the IMEI code is the most reliable way to determine whether or not they are authentic.
- While it may be utilized against you, it’s best not to be concerned and instead considers that now the IMEI code is for our protection and loss prevention. It is worthwhile to take a chance on something that might not even be horrible.
Is IMEI Vulnerable To Hacking?
The answer to the question is not much; they may not be able to obtain it easily, much less even hack it. It is very difficult for a potential hacker to gain access to an IMEI code since it is unique for every device.
Some stories claim that after obtaining someone’s IMEI information, it is possible to gain access to their WhatsApp account. With the sim card’s IMEI number, it may be feasible to hack applications that demand sim card numbers or other information.
This can lead to information leaks, private messages being intercepted, and even hacked bank accounts.
There is another technique to get your phone hacked using your IMEI number; the hacker can convince you to download a program that appears to be safe but is actually feeding the data to the hacker without your knowledge.
Therefore, it is prudent to preserve the number between yourself, the phone provider, and the government.
It is preferable to maintain prudence by eliminating the source of such factors in order to feel less suspicious. Hold your IMEI number secure, and you won’t have to worry about your information leaking.
How To Determine Whether Your Phone Was Hacked?
If the phone begins to behave abnormally, which includes poor network connectivity, delayed charging, and limited battery life, it may have been breached by an outsider.
If you begin to see these things on your device for no apparent reason, you should assume that it has been hacked as well as download an anti-malware program, which will help you diagnose the problem and eliminate it at its source.
Since it is impossible to have two similar IMEI numbers, this might be a deliberate hacking attempt and you should take precautions.
Don’t Tell Anyone Your IMEI
Since you now know what someone could do with the IMEI number, you must know that it is best to conceal it and keep it to oneself, just to be on the side of caution.
Even though hacking through IMEI numbers is uncommon and few individuals attempt it, it may still be dangerous and you should take safeguards against it. The danger of disclosing the IMEI number exists.
Therefore, the easiest approach to achieve this is to keep your IMEI number a secret; if they don’t know, they can’t do any malicious action using it. It’s that straightforward.
IMEI numbers are supposed to be simple identifiers for the phone, so there are no harmful motivations to implant one on a separate component. However, because people might have malicious intent, it ought to be kept secret and no one should be informed.
Even if IMEI digits are only hardcoded messages in the phone, they only contain information about the device; no IMEI number contains personal information. The information you enter while setting your device is not that sensitive and cannot be used against you; the IMEI number contains simply this information.
Relax and utilize it to your advantage, let the authorities do their legal investigation, and keep a record of your actions, which is totally acceptable provided you are not involved in unlawful activity.
You may also employ it to ban your device on several networks in the event that it is stolen. It has the potential to harm you if someone discovers your IMEI number and then reports it, resulting in your device being blacklisted. Therefore, be cautious and secure your IMEI number.
Lost IMEI Number?
Unfortunately, someone can potentially hack your IMEI. If this situation unfolds, you’ll confront a number of issues. If someone gets your smartphone’s or cell phone’s IMEI, for instance, they can replicate your smartphone.
Should both your phone as well as the cloned phone be active and attempting to join the same network at the same time, your wireless network operator might instantly disconnect both devices.
In addition, apps including WhatsApp utilize the IMEI as an identification, thus someone with your IMEI number might possibly acquire simple access to your WhatsApp account.
Therefore, if you are purchasing a used or reconditioned phone, it is important to confirm its IMEI number with your mobile services provider and perhaps with one of the available internet databases.
Additionally, you may view your IMEI, a 15-digit unique identifier, by entering *#06# on the keypad. Your IMEI number is going to appear immediately on the display of your phone or mobile phone.
Why Do Hackers Target IMEI Numbers?
The brief response is money. Unfortunately, people who are happy with pocketing ill-gotten money can profit from criminal activity. Consider the following real-world situation involving the theft of iPhones by a criminal ring.
They would take the cellphones, alter the IMEIs, and afterward sell the devices to consumers. In this incident, the burglars circumvented the pattern lock and thus obtained access to the devices’ data.
They would then delete all data using an application. The devices would then be attached to a gadget that modified the IMEI numbers electronically.
It may be a major problem for all mobile users. With the IMEI number, hackers may duplicate your phone. However, this technique is not simple. It is not something everyone can accomplish.
In regard to the IMEI number, several other details are necessary to duplicate a phone. If the IMEI number has been copied, it is often being utilized on another phone.
If a SIM card is attached to a mobile phone, the regulator as well as the police may monitor the device. In such a scenario, the governing authority may even blacklist both phones.
How to Respond If It Occurs To You?
Whether your phone has indeed been hacked or copied, one approach to determine if something is amiss is to request your phone’s and information transfer records from your cellular service provider.
Thus, you may examine the listings to see whether any inconsistencies require additional investigation. Additionally, you should request that your wireless service provider ban your IMEI to prevent clones of the smartphone or mobile phone from functioning.
You can also contact an impartial third party to do a diagnostic test to determine whether your phone has just been compromised or cloned. If you feel that the IMEI has been stolen or cloned, you must notify your wireless service provider immediately so that an inquiry may be conducted.
Your smartphone or mobile phone service might be interrupted if your IMEI number is compromised, and identity thieves could potentially get access to your personal information and perpetrate ID theft.
IMEI numbers have two primary uses: identifying mobile devices and locating missing mobiles. In the event that your smartphone is damaged or stolen, you will be required to provide this number to the police. The cops may even put the phone on a block list.
Is Mobile Hacking Possible?
It may be a major problem for all phone devices. With the IMEI number, hackers may duplicate your phone. However, this technique is not simple. It is not something everyone can accomplish. In contrast to the IMEI number, several other details are necessary to clone a phone.
If the IMEI number has been copied, it is often being used on some other phone. If a SIM card is attached to a mobile phone, the regulators and the police may monitor the device. In such a scenario, the governing authority may even blacklist both phones.
Additionally, the IMEI number could be utilized to track any mobile device. However, even this isn’t a simple topic for anybody. Currently, the police could only track mobile devices with the assistance of telecom firms.
Now, the issue may arise as to whether an IMEI number may be used to hack a mobile device. No, it cannot be done so.
Hacking in this context refers to the ability to access or manipulate a mobile phone. The fact is that a hacker may identify the number of SIM cards used in a mobile device by using the IMEI number.
However, in order to do so, the hacker must penetrate the whole mobile network and access the full database of the telecommunications provider which is difficult.
Therefore, it can be conclusively said that your phone cannot be hacked by a hacker just by using your IMEI number. Nonetheless, it can cause other damage to the user when the device’s IMEI is compromised.