Stolen smart-meter SIM leads to outrageous 3G bill
Tasmanian woman downloads herself into the slammer
Skeptics who think 3G data services can’t be used for volume downloads, think again: a Tasmanian woman has been jailed for racking up a bill of nearly A$200,000 on a SIM stolen from an electricity smart-meter.
According to the Hobart Mercury the woman, Kylie Monks, used a SIM card from an Aurora electricity meter that connected to the Telstra NextG network. She then went on an impressive spree of downloads and calls. Aurora only noticed the theft of the SIM when it received a three-month phone bill of A$193,187.43.
Police alleged she used the SIM to access Facebook and download “dozens of” movies. Monks had claimed the SIM was given to her by a man called Freeman, and that she had destroyed it when she realized it did not belong to him.
Monks was convicted for computer-related fraud, receiving stolen property and making a false declaration, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The last 12 months has been suspended with a three-year good behaviour bond.
Aurora Energy says it has taken steps to prevent further SIM thefts. ®
Actually, privacy authorities worlwide are pretty strict on this area.
All communications are encrypted via SSL and all messages havve unique signatures (derived from the hardware profile of the meter) to prevent tampering.
As I work for such a smart meter company, I'm astonished that while utilities request all sorts of features they end up not making use of them. Things like tying the SIMcard to hardware, restricting the domains it can access and a million others besides. All these drive costs for the meters yet utils seem not to be using them.
Have you tried doing this?
Finding somebody to talk to at Telstra who understood what a restricted APN was, and how they might set one up, probably taxed the patience of the staff at the electricity meter company to far, and they just threw standard retail SIMs into the meters.
Be this a title?
@ Eddy Ito,
It's a shame you're NOT a judge, because that's full-on Solomonic.