Tuesday, January 05, 2010

GSM Calls cracked with $1500 and OS Software

In news that should concern any Government Agency or business person darkreading has published news of a planned presentation on just how easy and cheap it is to crack GSM phone calls with current technology. GSM is an encryption that 80% of mobile phone companies relies on to keep conversations secure. Maybe that was appropriate when the standard was adopted, but increased computer power and algorithm development has overturned that view.

Researchers Prepare Practical Demonstration Of GSM Encryption Cracking Technology - wireless security/Security - DarkReading
"GSM has been considered insecure for some years -- however, it is a huge development that the theoretical attack on the GSM encryption cipher is now a reality," says Stuart Quick, operations manager at Henderson Risk Ltd., a London-based security and risk management services firm. "There is now a very real and imminent threat that GSM voice communications will be compromised, and users must start to consider how they can increase the security of their valuable/commercially sensitive calls they make."

The demonstration could also cause some companies to consider separate encryption of cell phone calls, according to one vendor that offers such technology. "Our research shows that 79 percent of organizations discuss confidential or sensitive information at least weekly on mobile phones," says Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO Cellcrypt Ltd. "The news that GSM has been cracked will be very worrying for anybody who discusses valuable or confidential information over their mobile phone."

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