The big wireless companies worldwide could have a share of blame for the massive spying done by the National Security Agency (NSA)
As has been well recognized expert in computer security, the companies involved in this process of espionage have not wanted to implement a package of technological solutions, in force since 2008, which may have prevented their clients could be affected by these practices espionage.
According to Karsten Nohl, current head of Security Research Labs in Berlin, this is a real problem and as proof of this, told Reuters that his company had discovered a security problem during a routine review of protocols security applied to mobile operators worldwide.
Nohl also revealed this news agency that these telephone companies have failed to address the current vulnerabilities that allow hackers to remotely clone certain SIM cards used in mobile phones, and take control of the device remotely. According to Nohl, these vulnerabilities had been identified since last July.
From their point of view, does not believe this to plot cooperation with national security agencies, but rather a technical problem due negligence: “I could not imagine that this is complicity. I think it’s negligence, “Nohl told Reuters, adding later that he does not believe in the theory of the” global conspiracy of network operators worldwide. ”
Nohl believes that in recent years the major mobile phone companies in the world have wanted to focus more on solving problems “network speed and coverage” in the safety of their own customers.
In response to these accusations Nohl, a spokeswoman for the GSM Association, which represents some 800 mobile operators around the world, said he could not comment on these reviews and it did not have the specific data that the researcher Nohl presented in a presentation of the Chaos Communication Congress which takes place in Hamburg.
This event is considered as the most important European conference on issues of computer security, hacking and privacy.
Nohl discovered the problem while working on a project known as the GSM Security Map, which evaluated the safety of mobile operators worldwide. This map, which can be found on the web gsmmap.org, and was funded in part by a grant from the Open Technology Fund U.S. Government
The research of this project revealed that none of the companies surveyed had implemented IT security measures that allowed thwart espionage method used by the NSA, which gives them the ability to listen to mobile calls using encryption technology widely known as A5 / 1.