Karsten Nohl, the head of Germany’s Security Research labs, recently reported that GSM phones have a potentially very damaging security flaw. GSM phones are the most widely used standard for mobile phones globally. This means that this security flaw has the potential to affect 80% of all mobile users. He found an exploit that could allow criminals to take control of your device and force it to make calls or send text messages to premium numbers, thus racking up millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds from hundreds of thousands of phones in a short time.
We have heard of this type of exploit before; however, the primary difference this time is the sheer number of phones with the security flaw, and how easily a large number of people can be victimized in such a short period of time. Luckily, it is not an easy exploit to find, and Nohl does not plan on sharing it openly at the hacking convention in Berlin being held today.