In a recent report it was stated that Gemalto NV, a digital security company, was breached by the notorious NSA in support with British GCHQ to intercept and eavesdrop on the cellular communications without any prior permissions from the government and telecommunication companies. Citing the documents leaked by the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, it was reported that both the spying agencies stole private keys used by the corporation to protect the cell phone communications.
“The Great SIM Heist” allowed both the agencies, American NSA and British Government Communication Headquarters, to intercept a majority of voice and data communications around the world.
Since every SIM card holds a private key for secure and private communication over the wireless network, these agencies were having them in possession to intercept almost every individual who had a SIM or smart card manufactured by the Gemalto NV.
Gemalto produces smart chips for the bank cards, telecommunication companies, security doors, passports and more. The company offers its products to nearly 450 wireless companies, which includes Bharti Airtel and Vodafone in India.
However, the company wasn’t aware of any hacking activity but said, “From what we gathered at this moment, the target was not Gemalto, per se – it was an attempt to try and cast the widest net possible to reach as many mobile phones as possible.”
“We take this publication very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope of such highly sophisticated technique to try to obtain SIM card data,” Gemalto spokeswoman said.
Both the agencies are yet to comment on it, however, this is the second reveal within this week. Earlier, it was reported that the NSA has also infected almost every hard-drive in this world by installing a secret spying malware. Manufacturers, including Seagate and Western Digital, have been infected with malware that can’t be erased from the HDDs.