"Satellite phone encryption can break through in just a few seconds," security experts assert

"Satellite phone" which can talk anywhere in the world through artificial satellite is considered to be used for communication etc. which is required to have high confidentiality from its features. But security experts have elucidated and announced that encryption technology of such a satellite phone can be deciphered in only a few seconds and the contents of the call can be intercepted almost in real time.

Satellite Phone Encryption Calls Can be Cracked in Fractions of a Second

The encryption technology widely used for encryption of satellite telephones is called "GMR-2" and it is also used for "Inmarsat" which is a typical satellite phone. Two Chinese security experts have identified the vulnerability of this technology and reveal that it can decrypt the cipher only in a matter of seconds.

Two security experts belong to the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), and he said that they conducted research based on the contents published in 2012 by German experts. In the attempt of 2012, a decryption method called "plaintext attack" was used, but in the newly announced technology this time, "By reversing the encryption processing, direct encryption from the outputted key stream It is supposed to be "to guess keys".

In this attack method, we perform a reversal attack of thousands of times on the satellite signal in the 3.3 GHz band, and eventually we will cast a 64-bit encryption key. Based on this information, we are trying to reduce the difficulty of guessing the decryption key and to enable near real-time eavesdropping.


The situation where the existence of this method is clarified makes it possible for discussion about the existing satellite phone service to happen inevitably. In particular, satellite telephones are often used by personnel deployed in war regions to protect national land and citizens, and highly confidential information about strategy is exchanged, so if content is easily eavesdropped It can also seriously hinder the execution of the strategy.

A report by two experts can be viewed from the following link.

(PDF)A Real-time Inversion Attack on the GMR-2 Cipher Used in the Satellite Phones

in Mobile,   Security, Posted by darkhorse_log