Gemalto says products ‘secure’ after spy agency hack

Initial investigations into reports that digital security company Gemalto was hacked by the NSA and GCHQ last week show that the company’s products are secure, despite claims that the British and US agencies stole encryption keys for its SIM cards.

“Initial conclusions already indicate that Gemalto SIM products (as well as banking cards, passports and other products and platforms) are secure,” the company wrote in a statement released earlier today, adding that it doesn’t expect to endure a significant financial prejudice.

Intercept reported last week that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had hacked Gemalto’s systems, allowing the spies to potentially monitor the calls, texts and emails of billions of customers. The report was based on documents supplied by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Gemalto produces 2 billion SIM cards per year for 600 operators and financial institutions around the world, and also makes smart chips for bank cards, mobile phones and biometric passports. The company counts Verizon, AT&T and Vodafone among its customers.

Gemalto will release more complete findings from the ongoing investigation in a Paris press conference at 10.30am on Wednesday.

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