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[liberationtech] On satellite phones

Brian Conley brianc at
Thu Feb 2 11:04:57 PST 2012

Thanks Jacob. For my part, based on my own research, I already came to the
conclusion that satphone encryption should not be trusted in any case,
given the known instances of breaking Thuraya's codes, and the high
likelihood that sophisticated states-not only the US-have the tools
necessary to break these encryptions.

That said, this certainly lowers the bar and raises the likelihood of even
less-sophisticated players having this capability.

I wonder if anyone knows off top of their head whether Iridium or
Globalstar use a different standard than gmr1 or gmr 2?


On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at>wrote:

> Hi,
> We've talked a bit about sat phone security on this list - I'm glad that
> these guys have made their research public:
> "In a nutshell, they were able to reverse engineer and to break the
> secret ciphers used in many satellite phone systems, namely the GMR-1
> and the GMR-2 ciphers."
> I hope that their research helps to put these questions about sat phone
> security to rest. They did an amazing job.
> All the best,
> Jacob
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Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

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