Gemalto Sees No Evidence That Its Encryption Keys Were Boosted By Spies

After reports last week that Gemalto had seen the encryption keys for its SIM cards stolen by the NSA and GCHQ , the Dutch company has officially responded that its products are secure.

“Initial conclusions already indicate that Gemalto SIM products (as well as banking cards, passports and other products and platforms) are secure and the Company doesn’t expect to endure a significant financial prejudice,” the firm wrote in a statement released earlier today (Feb. 23).

Gemalto produces around 2 billion SIM cards per year in 600 nations around the world. When reports surfaced that U.S. and British intelligence agencies were attempting to steal data from the firm, Gemalto initially admitted that they were unaware of any such activity.  If either intelligence force were as successful as papers leaked by Edward Snowden indicated, that government would have access to millions of mobile users who have Gemalto SIM cards in their phones.

“NSA and GCHQ basically have the keys to decyrpting mobile communications anywhere in the world, even without the participation of local communication carriers (which, even if not much, acts as some check on intelligence agency behavior). It’s the equivalent of these agencies having printed doorkeys for the front doors to millions or even billions of homes around the world, just in case they one day decided they needed to get in. Frankly, people should have no faith in the security of global mobile communications,” saidElectronic Frontier Foundations’ Mark Rumold in a conversation with  TechCrunch last week.

The investigation is still ongoing.  Gemalto will release its more complete findings in a press release and a press conference that will be held in Paris at 10:30 am.


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