Flaws in the GSM mobile standard allow hackers to gain remote control of phones and instruct them to send text messages or make calls.
Insecurity expert Karsten Nohl, head of Berlin-based Security Research Labs said that he identified a bug in GSM technology that makes calls vulnerable to tapping.
But it has not been fixed yet so he is blowing the whistle so that the industry pulls up its collective socks.This means that hackers should have code out in a few weeks to knock out GSM phones.
Only a few flaws have been found in GSM technology over its 20 year history and its Industry lobby group GSMA does not expect Nohl’s findings affect its views on the security of the technology.
Nohl told Reuters that he has worked out how to use disclosed vulnerabilities in GSM technology to mount an attack on hundreds of thousands of phones in a short time frame.
Nohl said that hackers will replicate the code needed to carry out attacks within a few weeks.
He praised Germany’s T-Mobile and France’s SFR for offering their clients the best protection against online criminals wanting to intercept their calls or track their movements.
But he said that none of the networks protects users very well