AGT unveils region's first open source GSM phone

Advanced German Technology (AGT), the security solutions vendor today announced the launch of the region's first open source based encrypted GSM mobile phone at INTERSEC Dubai.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  January 25, 2004

Advanced German Technology (AGT), the security solutions vendor today announced the launch of the first encrypted GSM mobile phone which uses the open source platform, at INTERSEC Dubai, the international commercial security, police, fire, rescue and safety exposition, taking place from 25 -27 January 2004 at the Dubai World Trade Center. AGT will be distributing the GSMK-manufactured CryptoPhone in the region; with the target markets for the product being those organisations and individuals whose communications are sensitive and require secure encryption. For instance, these can be the police, armed forces, government ministries, banks and other industries with communication security requirements. “Mobile encryption by the usual proprietary systems does not offer the required level of trustworthy security. Only an open source platform with the full source code published for review can be regarded as sufficiently secure. The GSMK CryptoPhone is the only existing GSM mobile phone featuring that,” says AGT managing director Anas Chbib. The GSMK CryptoPhone claims to be the first secure mobile phone that comes with full source code available for independent review. Everyone can perform an independent assessment to insure that there is neither weak encryption nor back doors in the device. “The GSMK CryptoPhones claim to offer strong cryptographic design combined with the published source code offers a convincing alternative for users who demand a security solution they can trust. The published source code provides a level of transparency previously not available in the mobile security market. You do not need to trust us but are able to verify the security yourself before you buy,” says GSMK’s CTO Frank Rieger. Open source refers to computer programs or operating systems for which the source code is publicly available. The most widely known example of open-source software is the Linux operating system and related open source applications like Apache webserver. According to the vendor, standard or non-encrypted GSM mobile phone communication can technically be intercepted at multiple points of the network. Areas that are particularly vulnerable include the radio transmission link between mobile phone and base station as well as the directional microwave links used by network operators between base stations and switching equipment. The use of two very strong and well-researched algorithms, AES and Twofish, using 256-bit keys is a unique feature of the GSMK CryptoPhone. A new key is used for each secure call and is generated by a 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

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