TIME Magazine April 20, 1998 Page 22 http://www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980420/notebook.techwatch.levit24.html CODEBREAKERS CRACKED Thought your new digital cell phone was safe from high-tech thieves? Guess again. Silicon Valley cypherpunks have broken the proprietary encryption technology used in 80 million GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) phones nationwide, including Motorola MicroTAC, Ericsson GSM 900 and Siemens D1900 models. Now crooks scanning the airwaves can remotely tap into a call and duplicate the owner's digital ID. "We can clone the phones," brags Marc Briceno, who organized the cracking. His advice: manufacturers should stick to publicly vetted codes that a bunch of geeks can't crack in their spare time. --By Declan McCullagh/Washington Reply From: Aleph One
God. There is nothing I hate more than crappy journalism. Mr McCullagh is wrong. "Crooks" cannot scan the airwaves and remotely tap into a call via the methods described by the Smartcard Association people. What they can do is clone the smart card (SIM) inside a GSM phone in several hours if they obtain physical access to the device.