According to Karsten Nohl, a prominent mobile security expert, All GSM mobile phones are susceptible to security issues that can let other people eavesdrop on their phone calls, send text messages and place calls from the phones of other people. This is a security flaw that can potentially become a big headache for mobile phone users as it could mean them being charged with extremely high fees and charges. Currently, 80 percent of all mobile phones worldwide are GSM phones.
Nohl made the presentation during the Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin. He did not reveal the exact ways these security flaws can be accessed or exploited but he said that hackers will be able to replicate the code that is needed to mount a mobile attack in mere weeks. In just a short time, â€œhundreds of thousandsâ€ of phones can be affected.
The security flaw apparently involves older 2G technology that is still available in a majority of networks. Nohl said he researched on the operations of mobile carriers in over 11 different countries in Europe. He used a seven year old Motorola phone and time and again he was able to get into the network and access voice and messaging features from compromised GSM users.
Nohl said that mobile providers can take measures to ensure their networksâ€™ command protocols are protected from misuse, the implementations of these protocols actually vary depending on the mobile carrier and even the region. This means enabling protective measures will have to be done on a case to case basis, depending on each individual implementations that were used.