NSA, GCHQ reportedly stole mobile network encryption keys

Gigaom

Private information protected by the little SIM card in your handset might not be so private after all. Based on new documentation from former NSA-employee-turned-whistleblower, Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on a state-sponsored theft of encryption keys from Gemalto; a company that makes 2 billion SIM cards annually.

encryption theft

According to The Intercept’s report, the U.K.’s GCHQ, working with the U.S. National Security Administration, was behind the hack on Gemalto, providing government agencies with the information by infiltrating the company.

What exactly does that mean to individuals and their privacy? Quite a bit, The Intercept said:

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. Bulk key theft additionally enables the intelligence…

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