GSM encryption code 'cracked'

A German computer engineer said he had cracked the 21-year-old GSM algorithm used to encrypt most of the world's mobile phone calls. But the GSM Association countered that cracking the code was unlikely.

A German computer engineer said Monday that he had cracked the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's mobile phone calls.

In an attempt to expose holes in the security of global wireless systems, 28-year-old Karsten Nohl cracked the 21-year-old GSM algorithm, which is used to encrypt 80 percent of the world's mobile calls, reports The New York Times.

Nohl revealed his success at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, Germany. He said that 24 people worked independently to reproduce the code book, or binary code log, for the algorithm, which contains the equivalent of about two terabytes of data.

He announced his intentions to crack the GSM algorithm at a conference in August.

The GSM Association reportedly said that Nohl's actions were illegal in the U.S. and U.K., and said it was unlikely that Nohl had actually cracked the code.

Read more of "Code that encrypts world's GSM mobile phone calls is cracked" at ZDNet.

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