Schneier: Cell Phone Companies and Security
This is a fascinating story of cell phone fraud, security, economics, and externalities. Its moral is obvious, and demonstrates how economic considerations drive security decisions.
Susan Drummond was a customer of Rogers Wireless, a large Canadaian cell phone company. Her phone was cloned while she was on vacation, and she got a $12,237.60 phone bill (her typical bill was $75). Rogers maintains that there is nothing to be done, and that Drummond has to pay.
Like all cell phone companies, Rogers has automatic fraud detection systems that detect this kind of abnormal cell phone usage. They don't turn the cell phones off, though, because they don't want to annoy their customers. Schneier on Security: Cell Phone Companies and Security
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