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Hacker to Demonstrate 'Weak' Mobile Internet Security

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 6:35pm
New York Times

BERLIN — A German computer engineer said Tuesday that he had deciphered the code used to encrypt most of the world’s mobile Internet traffic and that he planned to publish a guide to prompt global operators to improve their safeguards.

Karsten Nohl, who published the algorithms used by mobile operators to encrypt voice conversations on digital phone networks in 2009, said during an interview he planned to demonstrate how he had intercepted and read the data during a presentation Wednesday.

Mr. Nohl said he and a colleague, Luca Melette, intercepted and decrypted wireless data using an inexpensive, modified, 7-year-old Motorola cellphone and several free software applications. The two intercepted and decrypted data traffic in a five-kilometer, or 3.1-mile, radius, Mr. Nohl said.

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