Despite hack by NSA and GCHQ, Gemalto's SIM cards are safe, says the company
Gemalto, the world’s largest producer of SIM cards, which made headlines last week for reportedly gettings its encryption keys stolen by the mighty NSA and GCHQ spying agencies, says its SIM cards, as well as banking cards, passports and other products are secure, a conclusion it reached after conducting a round of initial investigations.
The Intercept published a detailed report last week based on confidential documents it gleaned from whistleblower Edward Snowden, in which it revealed that America’s NSA and UK’s GCHQ hacked the systems at Gemalto to steal the encryption keys. By getting access to the keys, the agencies were able to directly tap phone calls, and monitor messages, among other things, on millions of mobile phones.
"Initial conclusions already indicate that Gemalto SIM products (as well as banking cards, passports and other products and platforms) are secure and the Company doesn’t expect to endure a significant financial prejudice", Gemalto says in a blog post. The company will share more findings on Wednesday at a press conference in Paris.
When approached by the publication, the company’s executive said that they had no prior knowledge about the hack. "It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable", a member of Dutch Parliament had said.
The impact of any hack on Gemalto is significant because of its vast presence and usage across the world. The company has a partnership with more than 450 mobile operators operating in 80 nations. It produces more than 2 billion SIM cards per year. The SIM card in your smartphone, feature phone, or tablet is likely produced by Gemalto.