Even SIM Cards Are Vulnerable To Hacking; 750 Million Phones In Danger

Posted: Jul 22 2013, 5:38am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 22 2013, 5:48am CDT, in Technology News


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Even SIM Cards are Vulnerable to Hacking

Until now it had been a standard belief that while other things were capable of being hacked, a mobile SIM was impregnable. However, it seems this article of electronic faith has become outdated by now. Even SIM cards are vulnerable to hacking that can affect 750 million cell phones.

SIM card hacking is now possible. This can affect 750 million mobiles phones. Most mobile SIMs are open to hackers who have the means to plant a virus within them remotely. This is due to the usage of 1970s era cryptography which is now defunct. Karsten Nohl, a master cryptographer from Germany, has even gone ahead and demonstrated how he can put a jinx on mobile phones and make them divulge the personal information stored deep inside their software. The location and functions can be obtained easily via this method.

Over seven billion SIMs are currently being utilized throughout the global village. Most of these employ encryption schemes that date back to the 70s. This is a weak encryption and may be hacked readily. According to Forbes, Nohl is going to present his findings at Black Hat Security Conference in Las Vegas on July 31.

Thus decoding the SIM’s code is a cinch. Termed DES or data encryption standard, this obsolete methodology has to be scrapped if more mobile phones are not to be hacked. Malicious viruses can be implanted at the heart of the SIM thereby draining it of its account balance and many more things.

The fact that Karsten Nohl has been able to crack the 56 digit code just goes to show you that all is not well in Mobile Land. However, US mobile users can let out a breath of relief. The systems used by Verizon and AT&T can’t be hacked so easily. Most of the SIM cards that are vulnerable are the property of people living in the African subcontinent.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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