Thursday , March 15 2018

SIM security breached after security operatives from the UK and USA stole encryption keys from Gemalto

An announcement from Edward Snowden overnight has thrown light on a terrifying new development in the surveillance of private citizens by governments in the UK and US. According to a new report from The Intercept, government operatives from the USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) hacked into the network of SIM manufacturer Gemalto and stole top level encryption keys allowing them to potentially access almost any mobile communication in the world.

Gemalto is the company who manufactures the majority of SIM cards each year, manufacturing around 2 billion SIM cards a year. The company has contracts with around 450 wireless network operators in 85 countries around the world. The theft of the keys potentially allows unprecedented access to mobile communications. As The Intercept points out

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. Bulk key theft additionally enables the intelligence agencies to unlock any previously encrypted communications they had already intercepted, but did not yet have the ability to decrypt.

According to The Intercept, the breach occured in 2010, so this ability to access communications has been around for at least five years. There’s a lot more information and analysis in The Intercepts article, which we recommend you check out.

Source: TheIntercept.
Via: TheVerge.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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4 Comments on "SIM security breached after security operatives from the UK and USA stole encryption keys from Gemalto"

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Ausdroid Reader

Wonder if Telstra source their SIMs from there. Probably. Fat chance of finding out though, most of the support people I’ve ever talked to get stuck without their scripts.

Valued Guest

Doesn’t concern me, I’ll be safe in my Mum’s basement with my Tin Foil hat on.

Valued Guest

You’re supposed to wrap the foil around your sim card silly.

Valued Guest

Gees, haven’t these people heard of an air-gap?

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