I’ve been teetering back and forth so many times on whether I should post this research that I did last semester. The indecision is partly due to people out there who might commit plagiarism and partly because this paper describes the workings, albeit not in depth, but enough to connect the dots, of the cracking of GSM phones as well as an attack.
The paper you see below is the case study I worked on. There is a presentation that goes along with this, which I would like to expand on, so there could be more GSM stuff on the way at a later point in time. So, why am I’m posting this now? Well, after some thinking, it’s better to get this information out, plus a few weeks ago, Karsten Nohl, who’s referenced in the paper, made another breakthrough in GSM attacks. The new attacks are even more significant because the cost to carry it out has dropped even more considerably. In the article I discuss that Nohl and another researcher Chris Paget, were able to create a way to break GSM encryption algorithms, specifically A5/1, and work around it for $1500.00, as opposed to several hundreds of thousands of dollars for and IMSI catcher, which is used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on GSM communications. Nohl has brought that price down to about $15 plus the cost of a laptop. Wired has the article here.
I welcome any more info anyone might have on GSM as well as any comments of the research below. Hope you find it interesting.