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I was recently re-reading an old Wired article about the Kaminsky DNS Vulnerability and the story behind it.

In this article there was a quote that came across a little bit exaggerated to me:

"The first thing I want to say to you," Vixie told Kaminsky, trying to contain the flood of feeling, "is never, ever repeat what you just told me over a cell phone."

Vixie knew how easy it was to eavesdrop on a cell signal, and he had heard enough to know that he was facing a problem of global significance. If the information were intercepted by the wrong people, the wired world could be held ransom. Hackers could wreak havoc. Billions of dollars were at stake, and Vixie wasn't going to take any risks.

When reading this I could not help but feel like it was a bit blown-up and theatrical. Now, I know absolutely nothing about cell phones and the security problems involved, but to my understanding, cell phone security has quite improved over the past few years.

So my question is: how insecure are cell phones in reality? Are there any good articles that dig a bit deeper into this matter?

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closed as off topic by Mark Henderson, Sven, John Gardeniers, Alnitak, Jim B May 18 '10 at 13:35

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As with most systems, a targeted attack by people who know what they're looking for generally will be successful, and in drastically less time than you'd think. If you are a very high risk target, you should be very paranoid. Most people aren't nearly as much a target as they'd like to think, and thus don't need to be very worried. – Chris S Mar 19 '12 at 20:09

I'd recommmend reading this from slashdot: GSM Decryption Published. Following the links in the article and reading the comments.

more info at A5/1 Security Project aims at publicizing cryptographic weaknesses found in today's cellular networks

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