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GSM phones in India can be hacked Mobile phones on the GSM network in India are not very secure, according to a demonstration by security company, Matrix Shell. Business Line reports that the four founding members of Matrix Shell claim that they were able to hack into GSM phones and use the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, which is a unique number assigned to the SIM card. They were able to make phone calls, intercept phone calls, inflate the bill of a postpaid subscriber and deplete the balance of a prepaid subscriber. Service providers will not raise a security concern from any of these activities, because they appear as though they were made by the person whose account it is. They used firmware called Osmocom, and using software they wrote on it, they were able to hack into a GSM phone. They explained their ease of hacking into a GSM phone here with the level of encryption Indian GSM networks use. Akib Sayyed, one of the founders of Matrix Shell explained that standard encryption on a GSM network should be 5/1, but in India, most providers use 5/0, which essentially is no encryption. He did not specify, however, which Indian networks in particular provide the lower encryption. Operators tend to avoid heavier encryption as this would mean the time taken to connect the mobile to the Base Transceiver Station would be greater. Networks want to avoid that as there is a lot of traffic on the GSM networks. More encryption would also mean more hardware upgrades. Those using the correct encryption frequently shut it off. Courtesy : Tech2 Thanks to Padmini Harchandrai Image Credit : Getty Images via Tech2
Hack Chrome, Win A Million Dollars! Google boasts of its browser's security with a high stakes challenge Google has put up $1 million as prize money for anyone who can find a security flaw in its Chrome web browser. This is fifty times the amount it offered last year for the same, in the Pwn2Own hacking competition, held at the CanSecWest security conference. However, this competition is not related to Pwn2Own, where hackers reveal exploits and security bugs in operating systems and web browsers. While the search giant will pay out as much as a million dollars if security loopholes are found, it also states that hackers will have to reveal quite a few exploits to claim that huge a bounty. The contest has been divided into three categories and the prize money varies as below: $60,000 - Full Chrome exploit: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence using only bugs in Chrome itself. $40,000 - Partial Chrome exploit: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence using at least one bug in Chrome itself, plus other bugs. For example, a WebKit bug combined with a Windows sandbox bug. $20,000 - Consolation reward, Flash / Windows / other: Chrome / Win7 local OS user account persistence that does not use bugs in Chrome. For example, bugs in one or more of Flash, Windows or a driver. These exploits are not specific to Chrome and will be a threat to users of any web browser. Although not specifically Chrome's issue, we've [sic] decided to offer consolation prizes because these findings still help us toward our mission of making the entire web safer. Multiple rewards will be given per category, on a first-come-first-served basis. The set of exploit bugs need to be "reliable, fully functional end to end, disjoint, of critical impact, present in the latest versions and genuinely 0-day". The exploits must not be submitted elsewhere before they are submitted to Google. The company will also be giving away Chromebooks to all the winners. Courtesy : Techtree Thanks to Jayesh Limaye