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Encryption used in most GSM networks cracked and available

31 December 2009  |  5144 views  |  0

I didn't get to wait until the New Year for those GSM mobile phone conversations and phone banking sessions to become even more accessible to criminals (it is unlawful to intercept mobile communications in most civilised countries, however even governments don't seem to pay any attention to that one so criminals aren't likely to either):

NYTimes GSM de-encryption available.

Perhaps if your mobile communications are valuable to anyone you might have a discussion with your carrier.

I know of at least one mobile transaction and authentication system unaffected, but the ability of criminals to listen to conversations within minutes may cause a little distress for some others' applications.

The soft encryption used by most GSM networks needed to be upgraded ages ago to 128 bit. The purpose of the public release of the rather too quick and easy to crack keys is designed to press the issue. Meanwhile as carriers lag behind their customers may be at risk. Conversations can be replayed within hours by an amatuer and within minutes by better equipped and knowledgeable attackers.

No doubt the tabloids will be the recipients of some juicy tidbits before very long and spotting the Woody will reach new heights.

TagsSecurityRisk & regulation

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