Gemalto confirms probable cyber attacks by NSA

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CRI, February 26, 2015
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The world's largest maker of mobile SIM cards, Gemalto, says a preliminary internal probe shows British and U.S. intelligence services "probably" hacked into its office networks.

But the Amsterdam-based company contends the attacks have not resulted in a massive privacy leak.

Gemalto CEO Olivier Piou says their investigation shows the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, "probably happened," with two sophisticated attacks taking place in 2010 and 2011.

"What was most interesting was a second attack which was impersonating some real Gemalto employees in order to reach customers. And this attack was very innovative, it had never been seen before. So it was like it was not done by a hacker or mafia as usual."

The attacks first came to light last week through documents released by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.

The documents show the attacks potentially allowed the US and British intelligence to monitor the calls, texts and emails of billions of mobile users around the world.

However, Gemalto contends the hack could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys, suggesting 3G and 4G mobile phones are immune to this sort of attack.

Gemalto is the supplier of SIM cards to a number of major mobile phone operators around the world, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint in the US.

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