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New Attack Intercepts Wireless Net Messages
By design, the Mobitex specification, like other wireless standards such as Global System for Mobile Communications and General Packet Radio Service, sends packets in unencrypted form. The network, which handles data transmissions only, has been in operation since 1986 and has a large base of installed devices, with customers using it for everything from point-of-sale verification to e-mail.
"The attack is fairly simple," said Joe Grand, one of the researchers who perfected the technique. "The problem is, this isn't a bug. It's part of the spec that data is transmitted in the clear, just like it's part of the spec that Internet data is transmitted in the clear. The risk depends on who is using the network and when and what data they're sending."
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