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Home » Hacking News » Cryptographic tool to strenghten 3G networks

Cryptographic tool to strenghten 3G networks

by Nikola Strahija on January 28th, 2002 Discretix Technologies has announced that its CryptoCell technology is to be used in future GPRS and third-generation (3G) wireless handsets from Ericsson. The move should lead to greater security for wireless applications on Ericsson smartphones.

"Most mobile phone applications already involve some level of security," said Sariel Engel, wireless product manager at Discretix. Even GSM voice calls are encrypted, but applications such as online banking, e-commerce and access to corporate systems via virtual private networks (VPNs) require a greater level of security, the firm said.

Bjorn Ekelund, Ericsson's vice president for technology development, said, "We see power and cost-efficient security solutions as key features in our open platforms for 2.5G and 3G wireless terminals."

The CryptoCell solution consists of two parts. A hardware CryptoEngine and software component. Higher-level protocols are implemented in software, while the hardware performs intensive tasks such running encryption algorithms.

Ericsson has a licence to incorporate Discretix's technology into the baseband chipset that interfaces phones to a wireless network.
"One of (CryptoCell's) main advantages is that (it is intellectual property) that can be integrated into the device chipset," said Engel. This approach results in higher performance than if the encryption were performed in software, while keeping power consumption down, he said.

Discretix also said that hardware security implementations are more difficult for hackers to exploit.

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