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Satellite Phone encryption can now be cracked due to GMR-2 cipher vulnerability

By Skyline Geek on Jul 12, 2017 at 2:10 PM
  1. Skyline Geek

    Skyline Geek Administrator Staff Member

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    Apr 11, 2017

    Two Chinese security experts have exploited vulnerabilities in the execution of the GMR-2 standard that could be exploited to decrypt satellite telephone correspondences in parts of a moment. In 2012, a gathering of German specialists exhibited through a reverse engineering activity that both are weaker than different figures, for example, AES or PRESENT. They proving that the phone's encryption can be cracked so quickly that attackers can even listen in on calls in real time.

    What is GMR-2 Cipher and how it works?

    The GMR-2 is a stream cipher with 64-bit key-length being used in some Inmarsat satellite phones. The satellite phones of British Telecom Inmarsat use the GMR-2 standard. It is conceivable to crack the GMR-2 figure by utilizing just a single edge known "keystream", yet the procedure is tedious. The analysts contrived a method that interestingly permits a real-time inversion attack utilizing one frame keystream.

    Requirements for this attack.

    The attack strategy requires hitting a 3.3GHz satellite stream way too many times with an inversion attack, which inevitably creates the 64-bit encryption key and makes it less demanding to chase for the decoding key which enabling attacker to decrypt it and tune into a discussion.
    Risks posed by this attack.

    This new vulnerability concerns encompassing the security of satellite telephones, which are generally utilized by field officers in combat areas due to no different choices.
    Such assaults could represent a noteworthy danger to satellite telephone clients' security.


    This examination was done by Jiao Hu, Ruilin Li and Chaojing Tang of National University of Defense Technology. For more points of interest, you can make a beeline for their exploration paper, titled "A Real-time Inversion Attack on the GMR-2 Cipher Used in the Satellite Phones."

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