A friend of mine recently went to a computer security event in Amsterdam and while he was there he had the privilege to attend a really eye opening seminar on the subject of A5 encryption (Click here for an overview).
Now from my somewhat basic understanding of this kind of thing, The main point of this seminar was to point out that the A5 encryption we so heavily rely on to encrypt our mobile communications is seriously flawed. So flawed in fact that it has been broken ( Several times since 1997 ).
How does this affect me?
Do you use any of the below on a regular basis?
- SMS Banking
- Telephone Banking
- PayPal Mobile
- SMS Virtual cash
- A Mobile Phone
- A 3g USB Modem
Of course you do! (unless you live under a rock). A5 Encryption is what stops me from sitting here on my computer listening to your phone calls or reading your emails with you. !OMG!
Yeah that’s right, If this technology ends up in the wrong hands we may as well all pass our cash card and pin number to the the person to our left and tell them to go on a shopping spree.
How can I Help?
Now we come to a crossroads and have 3 options.
Option One: Think its all a bit “Star Trek” and ignore it thinking… “this will never happen”.
Option Two: Go back to the stone age and refuse to use anything that isn’t physically connected.
Option Three: Run the new distributed computing program; which is based on http://reflextor.com/trac/a51 and will help generate the rainbow tables that are needed to be able to create a fully working proof of concept and thus forcing the mobile industry to get off there ass and develop a stronger mobile encryption method.
The technical “Ins” and “outs” of the aforementioned program are a bit above my pay grade but I know it uses the GPU on your graphics card to achieve far faster results than what could be achieved with a regular CPU.
For more information on the subject and to be one of the few involved in the creation and/or subsequent beta of any A5 cracking software, please head on over to http://www.CyberArmy.net and speak with Enstyne or comment on this post.