GSM Encryption Cracked, Showing Its Age
The unveiling of a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) encryption codebook compiled by a German security researcher and his team of collaborators lowers the bar significantly for the amount of money and technical expertise required to listen in on a GSM-based mobile phone call. More importantly, it illustrates just how old the current GSM encryption is and demonstrates why it’s time for an upgrade.
Law enforcement officials and well-financed cyber criminals have been able to crack GSM encryption for sometime, but the investment was so high that it didn’t pose much of a threat. This new method lowers the price of entry to the point that it is more of an issue, but still not a high risk.
Karsten Nohl announced that he and his team have compiled 2 terabytes worth of GSM encryption data. PC World’s Robert McMillan explains that the results are like “cracking tables that can be used as a kind of reverse phone-book to determine the encryption key used to secure a GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) telephone conversation or text message.”
Read more: pcworld.com