‘Take Your Medicine’

Speaking of Kottke, I love this Gawker story by Adrian Chen he just linked to, about a freelance hacker who, among other things, sets up prepaid cell phone networks for criminal rings, a la The Wire:

With Martin’s system, each crewmember gets a cell phone that operates using a prepaid SIM card; they also get a two-week plastic pill organizer filled with 14 SIM cards where the pills should be. Each SIM card, loaded with $50 worth of airtime, is attached to a different phone number and stores all contacts, text messages and call histories associated with that number, like a removable hard drive. This makes a new SIM card effectively a new phone. Every morning, each crewmember swaps out his phone’s card for the card in next day’s compartment in the pill organizers. After all 14 cards are used, they start over at the first one.

Each day’s SIM is preprogrammed with the numbers for the other members’ phones for that day:

As long they all swap out their cards every day, the contacts in the phones stay in sync. (They never call anyone but each other on the phones.) Crewmembers will remind each other to “take their medicine,” Martin said.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012