Using a simple computer, a home built transmitter and receiver, plus some readily available software, Chris Paget was able to develop a system whereby he could monitor any conversation using 2G or 3G technology.
In the early 1990s came the second generation (2G), which switched from analogue to digital transmission, signalling a massive rise in phone usage. The switch to digital also meant that conversations could not be monitored by third parties, due to encryption.
Apart from the Government Communications centre in Cheltenham who held all the operating codes and possessed some very expensive equipment, digital encryption was, until now, essentially, an uncrackable system guaranteeing absolutely privacy.
Hackers and Ham radio enthusiasts had been trying ever since 2G emerged to beat the encryption and now after much experimental work, Chris Paget has managed to crack the system using a device that cost him around £1,000 (compared to Cheltenham’s device which cost tens of thousands of pounds)
Our conversations will never be private again, until they develop 4G that is, and it will only be a matter of time before the hackers get to that as well.
So be carefull what you say on your phone; you never know who’s listening.