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Mobile encryption crack leaves up to 85% potentially exposed

Gold Lock : 19 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
GSM and Kasumi encryption algorithms have been unravelled within the space of two months leaving the remaining secure encryption providers with a wide market for their technology
Israeli secure communications company Gold Line Group is experiencing an unexpected upsurge in sales as a result of two major encryption breaches occurring within days of each other.

On December 28, 2009, 28-year old computer engineer Karsten Nohl announced he had "deciphered and published the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's digital mobile phone calls," according to a story appearing in the New York Times.

Developed in 1988, the GSM algorithm is the cellular communication industry's most widely-used encryption protocol. But after what happened on December 28th, its security scheme is now useless.

A few weeks later, on January 15, 2010, engineers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel announced that in less than two hours, they had cracked the KASUMI system, a 128-bit A5/3 algorithm implemented across 3G networks, according to a story appearing on Engaget.

The defeat of these two algorithms has assured that virtually any cellular conversation or online digital transaction that depends upon either of these exploited technologies are open to monitoring and interception by hackers, thieves, spies, government agencies, or terrorists.

"This devastating one-two punch impacts over 85% of the world's cellular users,' according to Noam Copel, Gold Lock's CEO.

'As these users realize their business and personal conversations are wide open to eavesdropping, they are quickly turning to military-grade encrypted phones as a solution,' Mr Copel added.

Looking for a way to recover quickly, technology users are turning to companies with software and products that are not based upon these technologies. Gold Lock is one of those providers.

The company's digital encryption software utilizes AES 256-bit and Elliptic Curve 384-bit encryption for protecting data and Diffie Hellman 4096-bit encryption for securing key transfers. All encryption is executed using the protected device's native processing power so no additional hardware or training is required.

Gold Lock recently drew national attention by offering US $250,000 in gold and a position with the company to anyone who was able to download an encrypted telephone conversation from the company's web site and provide the company with a decrypted transcript. Despite over 5000 competitors from diverse organizations including those with .edu, .mil and .gov top level domains, so far the prize remains unclaimed.

"And while I have no way of knowing whether or not Mr Nohl or the Weizmann Institute participated in our challenge, I can say without hesitation that, if they did, they were not successful," said Copel.

Gold Lock customers include government and civilian users with a need to have secure conversations, or transmit files and data securely, without the risk of interception by third parties. Gold Lock employs military-grade encryption algorithms in all of its products. These algorithms are created by Gold Lock's staff of over 30 highly experienced specialists, including security software developers, tactical mathematicians, and military trained analyzers in the field of strategic encryption.
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