GSM 3G Encryption Cracked

Are you on AT&T or T-Mobile? Bad news if you are the encryption use for their 3G networks has been cracked. Don’t panic quite yet though:

“This is a nice piece of work. This is breaking the math, not just an implementation,” said cryptographer Bruce Schneier. “They found a practical, related key attack. It’s not clear whether it can break actual traffic or whether it’s useful operationally. Related-key attacks are a form of cryptanalysis that showed up about 10 years ago, but they’re rare in the real world because you need the related keys.”

So what happened? Well the GSM guys took a cryptographic algorithm and decided to modify it. This is never a good idea. The modifications that were made actually broke it. This further proves that if you’re going to use complex mathematical algorithms make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. Head over to the link to get more details.