GSM crypto code cracked, engineer says

German computer engineer says he cracked the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's mobile phone calls, reports The New York Times.

Karsten Nohl talks about his project at the Hacking at Random conference in August. Hacking at Random

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 .

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

About the author

    Andrew Nusca is the editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor at ZDNet. He has written for New York, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics, and Money. He is based in New York.

     

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