A SIM card vulnerability has been uncovered in the encryption used in millions of phones that could allow hackers to send spoof texts. These texts would execute nefarious software that enables them the ability to listen in on calls, as well as read and send text messages, all within a couple of minutes. It could even copy your SIM card.
Cryptographer Karten Nohl and his security team has estimated that 750 million phones in circulation today are using an old 56-Bit DES encryption standard used in SIM cards that can be exploited. Nohl will present his findings at the annual BlackHat security conference held in Los Vegas. It is estimated that 25% of 1000 SIM cards tested in North America and Europe were vulnerable to the exploit.
In addition, it has been reported that Nohl has fully disclosed his findings to the GSM association, and that they have notified carriers and SIM venders of who exactly can be exploited. Nohl suggested that older obsolete systems should be replaced with new triple-based DES encryption.
Read More | PCMag
What you see in the image above is the evolution of mobile phone SIM card design over the past four years. The largest in the image, known as the mini-SIM, was used for quite a while as the standard in GSM cell phones. However, as smartphones began to rise in popularity, drop is cost, and brought increased functionality, it was determined that the mini-SIM just wasn't mini enough. It took up too much of the precious real estate that mobile phone manufacturers needed for other things. Thing like a GPS radio, Wi-Fi, larger batteries, dock connectors, graphics chips, and more. And so began the start of the shrinking SIM card.
In a bold (and welcome) move, AT&T will be instituting a new policy that will block stolen devices from connecting to its network, utilizing a new database that the carrier will manage.
As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless networks. We will install this availability next week for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year.
Any stolen phone or cellular tablet device may be added to the stolen database, and only the person who requested that a device be added may have it reinstated.
Read More | The Verge
Video footage of the purported next-generation iPhone has surfaced today, courtesy of ETrade Supply, a reseller of parts. The video appears to confirm the new iPhone images we posted a couple of weeks ago, showing the two-tone rear metal casing of the next Apple smartphone, as well as a taller profile with larger display. Other changes that seem to be confirmed include the move of the headphone jack from the top of the device to the bottom, larger speakers, and a much smaller dock port. We also see that the SIM card tray in the new model is a bit smaller that the ones Apple has used in the past.
Read More | CydiaBlog
Are you rolling with an out-of-contract AT&T iPhone? If so, there's no reason to keep it locked to the AT&T network as of this weekend. Starting on Easter Sunday, AT&T will unlock any out-of-contract iPhone at the request of the customer. This means you can swap out the SIM for that of any other GSM carrier. This makes it super-easy when traveling abroad. In order to get the unlock, your account needs to be in good standing, so make sure you're all paid up.
Read More | Engadget
Apple has gotten creative with SIM cards in the past. They've done it before with the iPad, which uses a MicroSIM to connect to a 3G cellular network, and then the iPhone 4 followed suit. While they didn't exactly invent the technology, it's the first time that this gets used in a mass market device. Now, this morning, sources inside of some European carriers say that Apple is ready to pull a similar stunt. Apple and SIM maker Gemalto are reportedly about to implement a new SIM technology which would live permanently inside of the iPhone, and wouldn't need to be removed to switch carrier. The new SIM could be changed from one network to the next by the software, removing the need for it to be a removable card.
This is only rumor at this point, and if it was any other company it would be a dubious one at best. However, Apple's already proved that they can make carriers bend to their will to a certain extent, and this may be no different. The main benefit for Apple would be the ability to bypass the carrier. Consumers could buy a phone online, without any need to be pre-attached to a carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile, and then choose themselves which carrier to configure it for, at will.
Of course it's not all good for the end user. This would remove some of the control from the cellular network, but that control would be put straight into Apple's hands. So it remains to be seen what they would do with such increased power. Nevertheless, if they do manage this feat, it's clear others would be tempted to do so. Time will tell if Apple breaks the smartphone mold once more.
Read More | GigaOM
We are big fans of LDW games. They will be releasing their latest, Virtual Families, on April 22. Sim fans and those who have played the Virtual Villagers series will dig this one as well. Running in real time, you adopt a character, introduce him/her to a mate, and make babies. There are plenty of features that are in their other titles as well as new ones that include pets, repairing your house and items for “purchase.” We got a recent peek and if you want something that you can play forever with multiple generations, Virtual Families is your game. Both PC and Mac compatible, sign up if you would like to be notified when it comes out.
Read More | LDW Virtual Families
This takes fantasy sports to a whole new level. 2K Sports has released MLB Front Office Manager, a video game with a unique twist. Instead of playing the game, you choose qualities for a general manager, then commence to build a team by scouting and checking out stats. The period of the game starts from the end of the Word Series, just like in real time, and goes through a 30 year career with the GM making behind the scenes decisions. Available today for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Windows Online, the MLB Manager has a MSRP of $39.99.
Read More | 2K Sports
This swivel screen cellphone packs a lot into such a small size. It has 4 band GSM, Bluetooth, Dual SIM with dual standby, FM tuner, and accelerometer.The Bronze Edition also has an MP3/MP4 player, a digital cam, image viewer, video recorder, and its own 1GB card for its SD slot. Unlike many of Chinavasion’s products, there is no minimum to buy and you still get a wholesale price. Sign up now with them to be notified when it comes in stock.
Read More | Chinavasion
The r/t world isn’t the only place with housing problems. Some residents of Second Life were so upset at Linden Lab’s recently announced hike in their purchase and maintenance fees that about 800 protested on the virtual site with signs outside their SL office, some going as far as setting their avatars on fire. CEO Mark Kingdon claims that it will only be directed to select landowners, and will not apply to those on the regular mainland or private islands. Considering that there are about 8,000 less subscribers this year than last, we can understand their reasoning. Then again, you can always take up residence in another OpenSim neighborhood.
Read More | Gigaom