All GSM phones vulnerable to new hack
Karsten Nohl, head of Security Research Labs in Germany, says GSM wireless technology is inherently vulnerable to a new hack, which can gain remote access to GSM devices, and control over sending text messages or making calls.
GSM technology is used in roughly 80% of the mobile phones in the world, and so, the effects of the hack could be far reaching. This is not the first vulnerability in GSM technology found in recent times as well, with cellphone call interception proven late last year to be feasible with just $1,500 worth of over the counter equipment.
The new hack could potentially expose any phone using GSM technology, and, can be used against thousands of devices very quickly. Nohl will present his findings at a security conference in Berlin today, without details of the attack itself, to be safe. He says however, that hackers would probably figure out the new code and methodology within a few weeks.
A simple way to exploit the flaw would be to set up fake premium phone service numbers, with charges additional to call or SMS rates, and then call or SMS them from hacked phones. The hackers will collect their payoff, and move on. Users, especially postpaid subscribers, will probably not notice the damage until they receive their bill.
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