Intercepting and decrypting 2G GSM

10 January 2011

At the Chaos Computer Club meeting in Berlin, Karsten Nohl and Sylvain Munaut demonstrated how to intercept 2G GSM calls and decrypt the contents of calls nd text messages. This is the latest in a series of attacks of the now 20 year old cryptographic system used in 2G network to protect calls.

This is a concern as mobiles are increasingly used to perform financial transactions by using text messages as a secure path to send authentication tokens. More information on this is available at Ars Technica and Bruce Schneier’s Blog.