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Thursday, January 21, 2010

3G GSM 128-bit Encryption Cracked in Under 2 Hours

In the past two weeks, we’ve seen A5/1 64-bit encryption on GSM cracked and now A5/3 128-bit encryption on 3G GSM has also been cracked. Scanners that can tap 64-bit GSM and decrypt the signals are already on the market. There’s a paper linked in the DailyTech article that details what the researchers did to crack A5/3.

Whereas A5/1 was brought down by 2 terabyte time-memory tradeoff attack tables generated over a couple months on an NVIDIA GPU cluster (via CUDA code) early last year, the effort [to crack A5/3] used the sophisticated, "related-key sandwich attack" to crack the more advanced algorithm in only 2 hours.

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