GSM Encryption Hacked

An algorithm designed back in 1988 and still used today has finally been cracked and published online by hackers. The A5/1 privacy algorithm is currently used on about 3.5 billion GSM connections.

The algorithm was cracked open by brute force where a team of hackers fed in strings of numbers until they managed to solve it. The old key is 64-bit, but there is a newer key called A5/3 that is a 128-bit key that has been available since 2007 which is not widely used at the moment although the phone operators could make a few changes on their end to start using this code. The problem here though is that the 128-bit, although it would take longer, could be cracked the same way.

What does it all mean though? I guess there is a slim chance that someone could listen in to your calls although not with the cracked code alone as using the current crack would just open up a flurry of traffic to listen to. There is however some software that can be used to intercept calls so beware!

Via: Engadget

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