Feeds

Irish mobile numbers just too portable

Easily stolen, quickly recovered

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The number portability system used by Ireland's mobile operators has been shown to allow someone buying a new SIM online to port any number to it, even if they neither own nor have access to the number.

The issue became evident when one Reg reader became frustrated with the process of porting his old number to his new Vodafone SIM and tried to find an easier way to achieve it. Not only did he find such a way, but in the process he discovered that he could grab any mobile number in Ireland and have it shifted to his SIM.

Our chap explained the technique involved to, but we're withholding until a fix comes along.

When we contacted Vodafone it admitted the problem, which is common to all Irish networks. The operator did however assure us that if anyone did steal a number this way they would be caught out when Vodafone made its usual call to new customers, and that the "...mobile industry has a robust port reversal system which can restore service for a customer in a matter of minutes if a port is deemed unauthorised".

Anyone filching a number this way will have paid for the new SIM by credit card and so should be traceable, it added.

Vodafone has promised to fix the loophole that makes it possible in the next couple of weeks anyway.

Number portability is immensely important in driving competition and tends to favour new entrants to a market, and the faster numbers can be ported the more punters tend to do it.

In the UK the process takes about 5 days, and the network that owns the number has to keep forwarding connections forever. Ofcom (the UK regulator) would very much like to move towards the Irish system, which operates a central database of numbers and allows punters to change networks in a matter of hours rather than days.

Next week the long-awaited appeals by O2 and T-Mobile against the cost of improving number portability will be heard. The networks also fear that a streamlined number portability service will result in less security – a concern the Irish situation would seem to bear out. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.