Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

9/24/2008
11:33 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

India's Government Claims BlackBerry Crypto Crack

After months of wrangling with Research In Motion to hand over its crypto keys, the country now claims to have attained the ability to snoop on some RIM users in that country.

After months of wrangling with Research In Motion to hand over its crypto keys, the country now claims to have attained the ability to snoop on some RIM users in that country.The Economic Times is reporting that the government in India, specifically its Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Intelligence Bureau and security agency National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) have managed to run successful tests on the telecommunication networks of major service providers in that country to capture and decrypt both BlackBerry phones, and messages sent from BlackBerry devices to other devices.

From the story:

Initially, there were difficulties in cracking the same on Vodafone-Essar network but that has also been solved. This means that the e-mail messages sent on Internet through your BlackBerry sets would no longer be exclusive and government would be able to track them.

"Decompression is being tested in operator's network with three successful testing on Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication and BPL Mobile," a source in DoT said. He, however, added that the solution reached upon would not be shared with anybody including the national telecom service providers like BSNL or MTNL. "The test is being conducted wholly for nonenterprise solutions," he said. The Union cabinet has also been apprised of the recent developments by the DoT.

I find it interesting that the government is making the distinction between enterprise and consumer devices. Perhaps the government hasn't been able to breach the AES or Triple DES encryption available to BlackBerry. Now, couple that with the news that the Indian government is asking its telecommunication providers to alter their networks to make eavesdropping easier:

The DoT may ask any service provider to make few technical changes to bring compatibility for the decompression that would enable the agencies to decode information for the data transfer to other forms like data to voice, data to video or data to text.

This rather unusual public pronouncement comes months after the Indian government demanded that RIM hand its keys over.

It's tough to tell, based on these news reports, what the government has been able to precisely achieve. But I find the claim that they've managed to break RIM's encryption scheme dubious at best.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Human Nature vs. AI: A False Dichotomy?
John McClurg, Sr. VP & CISO, BlackBerry,  11/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: -when I told you that our cyber-defense was from another age
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-3350
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
masqmail 0.2.21 through 0.2.30 improperly calls seteuid() in src/log.c and src/masqmail.c that results in improper privilege dropping.
CVE-2011-3352
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
Zikula 1.3.0 build #3168 and probably prior has XSS flaw due to improper sanitization of the 'themename' parameter by setting default, modifying and deleting themes. A remote attacker with Zikula administrator privilege could use this flaw to execute arbitrary HTML or web script code in the context ...
CVE-2011-3349
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
lightdm before 0.9.6 writes in .dmrc and Xauthority files using root permissions while the files are in user controlled folders. A local user can overwrite root-owned files via a symlink, which can allow possible privilege escalation.
CVE-2019-10080
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
The XMLFileLookupService in NiFi versions 1.3.0 to 1.9.2 allowed trusted users to inadvertently configure a potentially malicious XML file. The XML file has the ability to make external calls to services (via XXE) and reveal information such as the versions of Java, Jersey, and Apache that the NiFI ...
CVE-2019-10083
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-19
When updating a Process Group via the API in NiFi versions 1.3.0 to 1.9.2, the response to the request includes all of its contents (at the top most level, not recursively). The response included details about processors and controller services which the user may not have had read access to.