Telecoms authority scrutinises Norway security / News / The Foreigner

Telecoms authority scrutinises Norway security. UPDATED: Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen had to account to parliament over the Oslo IMSI Catcher affair. The NSM, NKOM, and mobile service providers are examining options. “We are looking at what possibilities mobile operators have of discovering false base stations,” Norwegian Communications Authority (NKOM) Director of Networks Department Einar Lunde tells The Foreigner. “This is in cooperation with providers Telenor, Netcom, and Tele2.” Mr Lunde adds that they have upped their efforts since the revelations regarding possible espionage in Oslo surfaced before Christmas. “Most advanced equipment available”

spying, imsi, mobiles, politics, espionage, surveillance



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Telecoms authority scrutinises Norway security

Published on Wednesday, 7th January, 2015 at 11:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th January 2015 at 17:08.

UPDATED: Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen had to account to parliament over the Oslo IMSI Catcher affair. The NSM, NKOM, and mobile service providers are examining options.

Mobile mast (illustration photo)
Mobile mast (illustration photo)
Photo: Les Chatfield/Flickr


“We are looking at what possibilities mobile operators have of discovering false base stations,” Norwegian Communications Authority (NKOM) Director of Networks Department Einar Lunde tells The Foreigner. “This is in cooperation with providers Telenor, Netcom, and Tele2.”

Mr Lunde adds that they have upped their efforts since the revelations regarding possible espionage in Oslo surfaced before Christmas.

“Most advanced equipment available”

Mobile networks do not currently use NATO-approved AES-256 bit encryption to prevent eavesdropping.

Christopher Soghoian, principle technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, has said that “there’s nothing to prevent a phone being forced from 4G or 3G to 2G, which is not secure”, highlighting that governments have opted to prioritise their own surveillance needs over the communications security of their citizens.

The three Norway mobile service providers have said they take the IMSI Catcher (StingRays) man-in-the-middle issue very seriously.

TeliaSonera (Netcom) is the only firm that has so far replied to questions we have posed, however.

“We monitor and continuously improve the security of our mobile network. We use the most advanced encryption in the industry, including A5 / 3 on the 2G network. . It takes enormous resources to use such monitoring equipment, and it is the government's responsibility to protect the Norwegian population against this type of crime,” said Ellen Cecilie Scheen, communications advisor at the company.

“We’re also looking at what possibilities exist to plug networks’ vulnerability without there being global consequences,” NKOM’s Einar Lunde explains.

Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) is still investigating the IMSI Catcher affair. They are being aided by Norway’s National Security Authority.

NSM communications manager Mona Strøm Arnøy says that they are “placing our technical resources at the PST’s disposal in a way that they deem appropriate”.

Knowing what the other hand is doing

In his account to Parliament, Wednesday, Justice Minister Anders Anundsen said that being completely secured against eavesdropping was “demanding, as the technology to do this is both cheap and available.”

“Aftenposten’s information about possible false base stations has focused attention on a vulnerability that could affect very many [people], and that is very unfortunate. It [the situation] is very serious if the information is correct,” said the Minister.

“The government strives to reduce this vulnerability, but we must recognise that the situation is such that one must take into account that other people can hear and read what you say and write if you do not use suitable encryption equipment.”

Criticism has been raised about security officialdom’s division of responsibility when it comes to the mobile network. Some of the agencies involved are the PST, NSM, NKOM, the military, and network providers themselves.

According to Minister Anundsen, his Ministry has set down a Working Group to look at the currently established hand-off areas between the players regarding mobile network security.

The Minister stated that the complex picture means that things could always be improved in this area

“It’s vital that this partnership works well, that all the parties are well aware of their responsibilities and their roles. It also requires a non-passive attitude from those responsible for scrutiny,” added Minister Anundsen.

MPs and the Minister thanked Aftenposten for the work its journalists had carried out.




Published on Wednesday, 7th January, 2015 at 11:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th January 2015 at 17:08.

This post has the following tags: spying, imsi, mobiles, politics, espionage, surveillance.





  
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