In every updated version of a smartphone, the company not only tries to improve the screen size, display, processor’s speed and mega pixels of the camera, rather it pays a special attention to the security features of the phone. These security maintaining aspects of the phone keep the personal data of the user safe, which is the most precious thing with which the user entrusts the smartphone company. But what if the phone ensures all sorts of safety but the SIM card causes exploitation of the data? A German security researcher has discovered a massive vulnerability that the encryption used by some mobile SIM cards could potentially allow hackers to remotely take control of the user’s handsets.
Now you must be wondering how is this possible? Karsten Nohl, founder of Security Research Labs in Berlin revealed the details. He says that the encryption hole allows outsiders to obtain a SIM card’s digital key, a 56-digit sequence that opens the SIM to modification. Using this key, the hackers sends a virus to the SIM card through a text message and then the entire data is exposed.
Nohl was himself able to exploit 1,000 cards across North America and Europe. He mentions, once the hackers complete this process of breaking the safety line then they can actually read your text messages and can even make purchases through mobile payment systems.
If you are thinking that this is going to be a lengthy process, consuming a lot of time then you are wrong, as Nohl says it took him only two tiny minutes to complete this process, through a simple PC. However, there is something more shocking as this security flaw encompasses around 700 million people!
In the end the only good news that we have for you is that flaw has been reported to the GSMA, a panel of mobile operators that oversee the deployment of GSM networks, who have alerted SIM-makers and other companies involved.
Your thoughts about such a huge SIM encryption flaw?
(via New York Times)