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Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ May Have Been Behind Breaches It Suffered In 2010 And 2011
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Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Strategist
2/26/2015 | 11:24:45 AM
Re: it would only affect 2G mobile networks?
@Kelly, if there is a strong believe that the keys are compromised they could start replacing the SIM cards, but that could be really expensive.

Some users could ask for a replacement if they have SIM cards issued during 2010-2012, it costs around $4 each. 

I would also recommend forcing the phones to stay in 3G/4G mode, which usually works well in most areas. I remember that AT&T was talking about phasing out their 2G networks by 2016
Kelly Jackson Higgins
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
2/25/2015 | 5:44:48 PM
Re: it would only affect 2G mobile networks?
@Pablo--Thank you for sharing this. The forced 2G tactic is very interesting, indeed. I agree with Bruce Schneier that there is a lot more here than their postmortem, and they were in a tough situation here. The question is how do these companies and carriers react security-wise now. 
Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Strategist
2/25/2015 | 4:58:40 PM
it would only affect 2G mobile networks?
@Kelly, I know people working for Gemalto. I believe it is a great company and they take security seriously. But their claims that users are secured using 3G or 4G networks is not entirely true.

One method mentioned on The Intercept article is to force users to drop down to 2G networks by overloading the 3G service. Most mobile devices are configured to switch to 2G when the 3G/4G service is not reliable. And the switch happens without the user knowlegde.

I do believe Gemalto is now taking precautions to deliver the keys securely, but that was not probably the case a few years ago. The carriers receiving the SIM cards and keys are also to blame.

The fact that they decided not to file charges is abit strange. At least they could ask the French and Dutch governments, or the EU commission, to launch a probe.

I'm sure this topic will be present next week at the MWC here in Barcelona... We'll see

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