Gemalto SIM cards secure: Initial investigation

SIM card manufactured by Gemalto appear to be secure, according to the Dutch company which initiated an investigation into the alleged hacking of its SIM card encryption keys by the United states National Security Agency and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Gemalto (EPA: GTO), which is considered to be the largest manufacturer SIM cards, said it will reveal further details of its investigations in a press conference on Wednesday this week.

Last Thursday, The Intercept, an online publication that publishes top secret documents provided by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden, reported that the British and American spy agencies hacked into the internal computer network of Gemalto and stole the encryption keys used to protect mobile phone communications.
If proven to be true, the attackers have gained access to servers that hold the encryption key for millions of mobile phones. This will provide them with the ability to monitor the voice and data communications of countless individuals.

In a statement today, Gemalto said it is “devoting the necessary resources to investigate and understand the scope of such sophisticated techniques.”

The revelation of the breach could also have a long-term impact on the relationship of the technology industry and the governments of the U.K. and the U.S. It’s a relationship that has been strained already by earlier Snowden expose of NSA intrusions into the systems of firms such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Apple and others.

So far U.S. officials have referred questions about the breach to the NSA, which so far has not responded to requests for comments, according to the Wall Street

“Initial conclusions already indicate that Gemalto SIM products (as well as banking cards, passports and other products and platforms) are secure and the company doesn’t expect to endure significant financial prejudice,” Gemalto said.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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