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IBM Researchers Find GSM SIM Card Vulnerability

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May 13, 2002, 10:29 AM   by (staff)

IBM researchers released a report last Tuesday showing that some cell phones' security cards could be cloned in minutes, letting hackers make calls and route charges to the cloning victim's account. The hacking technique studied by the researchers, known as a partitioning attack, analyzes power fluctuations in a phone's security identification module (SIM) card, allowing an attacker to divine the security codes stored inside. However, the technique only works on the early-generation GSM phones, and requires that the attacker have physical access to the phone for at least a minute or two. IBM also announced that they have developed a fix for the issue.

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