Researchers discover flaw in 2G mobile encryption algorithm

Researchers discover flaw in 2G mobile encryption algorithm
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Researchers discovered a flaw in a 2G mobile encryption algorithm that leaves cellphones vulnerable to attackers. 

The GEA-1 algorithm, which has been in phones for more than 20 years, makes it easy for attackers to see data traffic on phones, and the researchers from Germany, Norway and France believe it was done on purpose, the paper released on Wednesday said, ABC News reported.

“According to our experimental analysis, having six correct numbers in the German lottery twice in a row is about as likely as having these properties of the key occur by chance,” Christof Beierle, a co-author of the paper, said.

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The authors believe this flaw was put in place because of laws against strong encryption tools and to give a “back door” to police, according to ABC News.

The authors said cellphone manufacturers have been informed about the issue and told to fix it.

The algorithm is still found in phones today, although most people in the U.S. have 4G or 5G standards.