NSA Can Decode Private Cell Phone Calls, Texts: Report
The latest leak from from Edward Snowden suggests the NSA can crack the world’s most commonly used cell phone encryption.By Elizabeth Hagedorn | December 14, 2013
It's the world's most commonly used cell phone encyrption, and according to a new report, the NSA can crack it and decode private cell conversations.
Citing documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reports the spy agency can “process” encrypted cell phone calls on 2G GSM networks — otherwise known as Global System for Mobile communications. It does so by cracking a decades old encryption technology called A5/1.
A5/1's vulnerabilities are well-known. As a writer for NBC puts it, "a modern PC would have little trouble performing the attacks."