US and UK Governments Allegedly Hacked SIM Manufacturer

government spy gchq nsaA major manufacturer of SIM cards, Gemalto, was hacked by US and British intelligence agencies in order to steal codes and facilitate eavesdropping on mobile phones, according to Intercept.

Netherland-based firm Gemalto is a leader in mobile security, and has said it takes the accusations “very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope” of the alleged hacking.

Among Gemaltos clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, all four of Americas large mobile networks, along with around 450 other mobile network providers around the world.

The hack was supposedly carried out by Britains GCHQ and Americas National Security Agency during 2010, in an effort to secretly monitor both voice and data transmitted across the worlds cellular communications.

It would have given the agencies a backdoor into information stored on the chips without the need for a warrant or wiretap, and left no trace that communications had been intercepted. The alleged hack was disclosed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“There have been many reported state sponsored attacks as of late, that all have gained attention both in the media and amongst businesses,” said a spokesperson for Gemalto. “This truly emphasises how serious cyber security is in this day and age.”