If you haven’t already heard, a report released by Firstlook reveals how the NSA is intercepting mobile calls worldwide. Using documents released by Snowden it has been uncovered that the NSA has an international Spy network setup, which keeps a close eye on cell provider companies and organisations locally and abroad, even those who are close allies. This was all done to find vulnerabilities, of which they plan to exploit at a later time to conduct surveillance of mobile calls.
Additionally the NSA wants to add weaknesses in the technology, which by some experts see as a real public risk. By adding a backdoor for the NSA it doesn’t just mean NSA employees are accessing the networks, as it creates a hole for anyone to find and exploit.
This entire operation is what is codenamed AURORAGOLD, by keeping a close eye on emails sent among large cell phone network companies, in order to help assist them in hacking into the cell networks.
Because the NSA now has their surveillance teams intercepting emails and phone calls, they are able to detect and track changes to any technologies or protocols used including encryption. Also they are targeting GSMA IR.21 documents which are shared between vendors worldwide as to enable roaming between providers. NSA has also cracked A5/1 crypto used to encrypt communications and the fate of the newer A5/3 crypto has experts worried. In the end what it looks like is the NSA want to have access to mobile communications worldwide and no-one seems safe.