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GSM security flaw exposes users to hijacked calls, text messages

News by Dan Seifert on Tuesday December 27, 2011.

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The head of Security Research Labs in Germany, Karsten Nohl, says that there is a security vulnerability in GSM phones that could allow them to be compromised by hackers to send rogue text messages or place phone calls by themselves. About 80 percent of the mobile phones in use around the world are GSM-based, which makes this particular vulnerability troublesome for many.

According to Nohl, hackers could force a phone to call premium phone numbers or to send text messages to pay-for services, racking up a large bill for the owner of the phone. "We can do it to hundreds of thousands of phones in a short timeframe," said Nohl speaking to Reuters.

Nohl has not revealed the source of the exploit, but he figures that hackers will be able to replicate it in a matter of weeks. He is presenting his findings to a security conference this week, so hopefully someone will engineer a fix before hackers are able to take advantage of the supposed flaw.

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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