Snowden Report: U.S., U.K. Agencies Breach SIM Card Security
The NSA and Britain's GCHQ reportedly obtained keys to the SIM cards that encrypt wireless traffic between handsets and carriers.By Evan Thomas | February 20, 2015
A new report in The Intercept says as far back as 2010, a joint U.S. and U.K. intelligence task force stole encryption keys for SIM cards used by a wide range of today's wireless carriers.
The NSA and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, specifically targeted Dutch SIM manufacturer Gemalto. It's one of the largest card makers and cranks out 2 billion cards a year for use all over the world.
All the big stateside carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — use Gemalto's cards, for example.