Top secret documents previously provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have revealed that the US and Britain broke into the network of the world’s largest SIM card maker to compromise global communications.
According to the documents obtained by The Intercept, the online news magazine founded by Snowden collaborator Glenn Greenwald, the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), stole the encryption keys used to secure voice calls and texts from Gemalto, the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world.
Two billion SIM cards are made annually by Gemalto. They are used by 450 wireless network providers around the world, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, subsequently effecting the bulk of the world’s telephonic communications. Gemalto has headquarters around the globe, including a US office in Texas, but is incorporated in the Netherlands and traded on the Eurolist.
By compromising the company’s internal computer network and stealing valuable encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ have been able to render as useless the security measures used to protect communications sent through hundreds of networks the world over… see more