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[ISN] MoD unfazed by satellite phone encryption crack


By Tom Espiner
8 February, 2012

The Ministry of Defence has said a satellite phone encryption crack by researchers will not affect UK military use of satellite phones.

The crack of the A5-GMR-1 and A5-GMR-2 encryption algorithms will not affect military operations, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

"All military users of mobile satellite communication systems are aware of the potential threats to such systems and are briefed explicitly that they are only authorised to pass unclassified information (both voice and data) over these systems," an MoD spokeswoman said in an email statement. "Protected information is never sent over an unclassified system, unless it is being employed in conjunction with an accredited secure device."

ZDNet UK understands that the MoD requires additional encryption to transmit classified information.

MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) declined to comment on use of satellite phones by the intelligence services. "We don't comment on operational security cases," a spokeswoman for the intelligence services told ZDNet UK on Tuesday.


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