“Computer hackers this week said they had cracked and published the secret code that protects 80 per cent of the world’s mobile phones. The move will leave more than 3bn people vulnerable to having their calls intercepted, and could force mobile phone operators into a costly upgrade of their networks,” Maija Palmer reports for The Financial Times.
“Karsten Nohl, a German encryption expert, said he had organised the hack to demonstrate the weaknesses of the security measures protecting the global system for mobile communication (GSM) and to push mobile operators to improve their systems,” “‘This shows that existing GSM security is inadequate,’ Mr Nohl told an audience of about 600 people at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, a four-day conference of computer hackers.”
“‘We have given up hope that network operators will move to improve security on their own, but we are hoping that with this added attention, there will be increased demand from customers for them to do this’ he told the Financial Times,” Palmer reports.
“The hacked GSM code could compromise more than 3bn people in 212 countries,” Palmer reports. “It does not affect 3G phone calls, however, which are protected by a different security code.”
“The GSM Association, the industry body for mobile phone operators, which devised the A5/1 encryption algorithm 21 years ago, said they were monitoring the situation closely,” Palmer reports. “‘We are concerned but we don’t believe it will result in widespread eavesdropping tomorrow, or next week or next month,’ said James Moran, security director of the GSMA.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]