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Gemalto Says SIM Hack Unsuccessful

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Feb 25, 2015, 8:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Gemalto, the maker of SIM cards, today said that though the NSA and British GCHQ "probably" attempted to steal SIM card encryption keys, they didn't succeed. Gemalto reports the NSA and GCHQ were able to break into its corporate systems, but could not have stolen the encryption keys as revealed by Edward Snowden. Gemalto explains that by 2010 it was already using a sophisticated method to transfer encryption keys to its mobile network operator customers, which is different from the alleged angle of attack taken by the NSA and GCHQ. Moreover, Gemalto claims even if the NSA and GCHQ did steal the encryption keys, they would only have been able to spy on communications on older 2G networks, as 3G and 4G networks aren't vulnerable to this type of attack. Gemalto said it will continue to monitor its systems, but says its carrier customers and their users aren't in any danger of being spied upon in this manner.

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