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Mobile phones are generally not safe from being eavesdropped and blocked by
mobile phone jammers.
The ability to clone ESD in analogue AMPS phones and to use them to
make free calls and to listen in to calls is legend, popularized by notorious
hackers like Kevin Mitcnick who was one of the first to hack into Nokia phones.
Digital phones are of course a lot more
difficult to hack into, but are easy to jam.
scientific team showed a way to break
into mobile phone calls
ubiquitous GSM networks, potentially allowing eavesdroppers to listen in on
conversations and even take on a caller's identity.
They cracked the A5 algorithm which is mean to encrypt calls
The GSM Association says they're "not worried" though.
Security Concerns ate still slowing Mobile Application Deployment
In 1998, the Smartcard Developer Association (SDA) and two
U.C. Berkeley researchers jointly claimed that GSM cellphones are susceptible to
See: GSM SIMs hacked
even more secure thanks to new A5/3 Algorithm
Mobile and Smartphone Worms, Viruses, Trojans and Malware
A group of underground virus writers has showed off
"Cabir", what is believed to
be the world's first worm that can spread on advanced mobile phones, but
security software companies say the virus had no malicious code attached.
Advisory on malicious one-ring calls
NTT DoCoMo have been
advising their customers not to call back a number in the received call
history from an unknown number, which when called back, the caller is connected
to "dating" site advertisements or adult content guide, otherwise known as
GPRS networks have also been vulnerable to hacking.
In June 2003,
security flaw was reported in the Nokia GGSN (Gateway GPRS support
node) that could have lead to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack by hackers.
The A5 hack also affects GPRS.
Nokia GPRS network could be hacked]
Israeli-based ECtel says that an unnamed major
USA based wireless carrier has ordered its new lawful interception solution
for packet data networks. The order was placed following and intensive and thorough
evaluation process of various competitive solutions. ECtel's flexible X-Probe PD solution was designed to help service
providers comply with new Lawful Interception regulations for data networks
Security flaw was also reported at
Verizon's SMS service in August 2003. The bug allowed any person
to easily view mass lists of SMS
messages sent to Verizon Cellular customers, including the telephone number
and the text in the message
In January 2003,
Microsoft and Orange UK investigated whether hackers sent rogue
software to cell phones using Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 operating system
Microsoft investigation of hackers using Smartphone
There have also been warnings
that Bluetooth Class I devices pose hacking & security risk. In
preliminary research from security firm A.L. Digital
number of security problems with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones from Nokia
Mobile Phone Jammers
Mobile Phone Jammers are now also the rage. They come in various
permutations, including a new device that looks like a normal cellphone and
whihc can block any calls within a 100m radius. [ See
New GSM Jammer Looks Like a GSM Cellphone]
In December 2003, the bizarre
Jamming Of a Moldovan GSM Network was reported.
WolfPack Mobile jammer which is dropped by parachute
In December 2003,
saved Pakistan's president
in an assassination attempt
Gaddafis notorious cavalcade block
any cellphones as he drives past
using jammers in his limo
Israeli Device Detects Cell Phones Acting as
Using Mobile Phones as bugs
Mobile phones can now easily be adapted to be used as bugs. At
first sight they look like regular cell phones — same size, same shape, same
But beneath the digital face is a spyphone. And any Nokia phone can be
adapted to act as a spyphone and you can monitor the person with the spy
phone at any time
Worlds First Mobile Spyphone Launched].
For many organizations, camera phones represent
a significant liability or security risk — such as inappropriate candid shots of
employees, pictures of production lines.
While the quality of most cameras in current phones is poor, it nonetheless
represents a potential channel for leaks of sensitive data or other images that
can produce unintended consequences. [See
Camera phones a threat to industrial secrets].
3G 360 degree security camera
Secure Mobile Phones.
A number of manufacturers have released phones that prevent bugging over the
air. These encrypt calls using for example GSM data channel to carry the voice
recently admitted to developing Anti-Tapping Mobile Phones.
It is now illegal in many countries to reset the IEMI numbers of mobile phones.
Thieves regularly reprogram IEMI numbers to thwart blacklistings of stolen
Tackling worldwide trade in stolen mobiles
First raid on IMEI reprogrammers under new UK laws
African GSM Operators Create Mobile Phone EIR
New UK Database Makes Stolen Phones Useless to Thieves
UK Mobile Operators Block Online Porn
Nextel develops free text-based AMBER Alert offering
cellphone service watchdog shuts down SMSs from 'God'
EU presses for mobile spam and privacy laws
Anti-spam laws now in force in the UK ban unsolicited SMS
South Korea Clamps Down on SMS Spam
EU moves against illegal and harmful content online
to introduce tougher Location laws
Radicchio to submit security standards to Liberty
Vodafone to clamp down on SMS Spam
Association sets its sights on spamming globally
DoCoMo Mova F505i wth fingerprint authentication
O2 launches emergency SMS as measure against spam
Calif. bans mobile phone spam
Lose Your Cellphone In South Africa And Spend 20
years in jail?
Thwart thieves by SMS
Hitting the 5, 6, 7 and 8 buttons on the gunphone fires four .22 caliber rounds in quick succession.
At first sight it looks like a regular cell phone — same size, same shape, same overall appearance.
See the secret video of the
But beneath the digital face lies a .22-caliber pistol, a phone gun capable of firing four rounds in quick succession with a touch of the otherwise standard keypad.
European law enforcement officials — stunned by the discovery of these deadly decoys — say phone guns are changing the rules of engagement in Europe.
Airport authorities across Europe are implementing systems to X-ray all cell phones
WAP and m-commerce security using PKI
PKI for WAP Security
:: Security over WAP & Mobile commerce
:: Radicchio for wireless security
The security aspects of GSM are detailed in GSM Recommendations:
02.09 - Security Aspects
02.17 - Subscriber Identity Modules
03.20 - Security Related Network Functions
03.21 - Security Related Algorithms"
The subscriber is uniquely identified by the International Mobile Subscriber Identity
(IMSI). This information, along with the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki),
constitutes sensitive identification credentials analogous to the Electronic Serial Number
(ESN) in analog systems such as AMPS and TACS.
The design of the GSM authentication and encryption schemes is such that this sensitive
information is never transmitted over the radio channel. Rather, a challenge-response
mechanism is used to perform authentication. The actual conversations are encrypted using
a temporary, randomly generated ciphering key (Kc).
For the authentication and security mechanisms to function, three elements (SIM,
handset, and GSM network) are required. This distribution of security credentials and
encryption algorithms provides an additional measure of security both in ensuring the
privacy of cellular telephone conversations and in the prevention of cellular telephone
- GSM handset or MS
The MS identifies itself by means of the Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI),
which is issued by the network and may be changed periodically (i.e. during hand-offs) for
- Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)
The SIM contains the IMSI, the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki), the
ciphering key generating algorithm (A8), the authentication algorithm (A3), as well as a
Personal Identification Number (PIN). The GSM handset contains the ciphering algorithm
(A5). The encryption algorithms (A3, A5, A8) are present in the GSM network as well.
- GSM Network
The Authentication Center (AUC), part of the Operation and Maintenance Subsystem (OMS) of
the GSM network, consists of a database of identification and authentication information
for subscribers. This information consists of the IMSI, the TMSI, the Location Area
Identity (LAI), and the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki) for each user.
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