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A place to share stuff that isn't at all fintec related but is amusing, absurd or scary.

Mobile Phone Banking vs IMSI Catchers

03 August 2010  |  5799 views  |  0

Real Title: Mobile & Phone Banking in the Age Of The $1500 IMSI catcher.

Without getting all techo, you may have read where I reported last year that GSM encryption was kaput. Before you get all excited and congratulate yourself that your are on 3g, you may not always be and most of the rest of the world including about 3 billion of your customers are still in the GSM boat.

IMSI catchers basically trick your phone into placing the call through their network, allowing you to make your call but enabling the catcher to eavesdrop or record your call on the way. Enterprising Chris Paget demonstrated one at a hackers convention and it is probably worse than Barnaby Jack's old spew the cash from the ATM hack which he demonstrated up the street at another convention. The ATM's can be fixed by the operators. The mobile's can't be fixed quite as easily.

You probably have a few ideas by now. The demonstrated exploit was a little rough round the edges but represents a serious issue for mobile/phone banking and  corporate communications. 

Of course someone will (or may have already..) come up with a solution for banking.

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