Listening million smartphone users ?
The National Agency for American security (NSA) and its British counterpart would have pushed the boundaries of espionage.
Twisted SIM card encryption keys multitude, the NSA and GCHQ, the British secret services would be able to follow the conversations of millions of mobile phone users in the world.
According to the US online journal “The Intercept”, which said to be based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, NSA and GCHQ have managed to infiltrate networks Gemalto, the Franco-Dutch world number 1 cards SIM, to steal a quantity “staggering” of encryption keys.
This, if true, implies that the two agencies have the ability to intercept many of the calls made from mobile phones in the world without having to listen to these devices. “This is a very serious matter,” said an expert cryptographer at security firm Resilient Systems, Bruce Schneier.
“What is most dangerous is when the attacker NSA everyone to catch some people,” says he, too. “They steal everyone’s encryption keys, including yours and mine. This is a scorched earth policy, “he added, convinced that other SIM card manufacturers have had to be covered.
Mails and conversations
The newspaper argues that these intelligence services could actually have access to more information than reported so far. NSA for example, was already able in 2009 to “treat between 12 and 22 million keys per second,” to use them later as needed to listen to conversations or intercept mail, according to “The Intercept”.
In a statement, Gemalto said it was taking “very seriously” the claims. “We will devote all necessary resources (…) to understand the scope of these sophisticated techniques to intercept the SIM cards on the data,” said the company. The NSA did not respond to agency requests.
Each SIM card has encryption keys to encrypt communications with the telecommunications operator. Hold the keys of a card can reconstruct all these communications.
For its part, the spokesman of the US State Department said that the department undergoes every day thousands of computer attacks attempts. She assured that the US State Department worked tirelessly to squeeze out and took a number of measures.