According to IBM, the IT giant’s researchers have found a new threat to GSM SIM cards. However, IBM also says it has developed the technology to prevent the attacks.
Partitioning attacks, a new class of side-channel attacks, are able to obtain secret key information from SIM cards by monitoring side-channels, including power consumption and electromagnetic emanations.
This method is much easier than breaking cryptographic algorithms or employing intrusive attacks, and takes only a few minutes to perform.
IBM has created a new method to protect SIM cards from these attacks. The technique replaces a single table lookup operation, which leaks information. with a sequence of completely random table lookups, which do not.