American and British spies stole encryption keys from largest SIM card manufacturer

American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

Country: Global

Domains: Privacy

Stakeholder: Government

Tags: surveillance, encryption, SIM cards, GCHQ, NSA, hacking, privacy

Posted on Friday 20 February 2015

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