By Jason Magder
December 29, 2010
MONTREAL - Most of the world's cellphones can be hacked and their phone
calls recorded using less than $100 of equipment, a pair of researchers
The pair, Sylvain Munaut and Karsten Nohl, demonstrated to the Chaos
Computer Club Congress in Berlin, Germany, this week how they
intercepted phone calls and SMS messages using four phones they bought
for less than $15 each, and a laptop. The pair said most phone networks
working on the GSM standard are vulnerable. The GSM network is used by
80 per cent of the world's phones, including Rogers Communications Inc.,
which has the largest market share in Canada, and Fido.
Speaking for Rogers, Sebastien Bouchard said he wasn't sure if customers
were affected by this vulnerability. He said, however, that Rogers works
closely with the world GSM association to protect the privacy of its
Bell Canada Enterprises and Telus Corporation use different technology,
the HSPA+ network. Bell spokesperson Marie-Eve Francoeur said that
network isn't affected by the vulnerabilities of GSM software. She said,
however, that Bell is concerned with security and reviews its procedures
The pair showed how they could send a ghost text message to a target
phone, that the phone would not see, but the phone would transmit its
identification number to the sender.
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