US and UK Spies Had Access to "Billions" of SIM Cards

By Gary Cutlack on at

The world's largest maker of SIM cards was hacked by UK and US spying agencies, potentially opening up access to the monitoring of personal calls of... everyone. They're going to need a bigger cloud storage account for all that data.

It's been revealed that SIM maker Gemalto was targeted by a joint unit set up specifically for the task by GCHQ and the NSA, with the spy agencies literally stealing the encryption keys that keep their contents secure. Both voice calls and mobile data could therefore, theoretically, be accessed, with Gemalto currently manufacturing around two billion SIMs per year.

The revelation, part of the ongoing leaks provided by Edward Snowden and seen by The Intercept, suggests this was done so spying agencies could eavesdrop on calls without first having to go through the tedious rigmarole of asking for official permission from networks and authorities -- clearly breaking the laws of many nations and perhaps the most shocking invasion of our privacy yet. [Guardian]