Alice N. Sanders
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The NSA failed to hack your phone

OK, so the U.S. National Security Agency may have attempted to hack your mobile phone. But relax! It looks like it failed to pull off the attack successfully.

Gemalto, the world's largest manufacturer of SIM cards, said it believes it was jointly hacked by U.S. and U.K. spy agencies.


At the time of the attacks in 2010 and 2011, Gemalto was unable to identify the perpetrator, "but we now think that they could be related to the NSA and GCHQ."

However, the attack "could not have resulted in a massive theft," the company said in a statement.

Gemalto released on Wednesday the results of an internal investigation after media reports last week claimed the NSA and its U.K. counterpart hacked into the company to get hold of encryption keys that allowed access to SIM cards around the globe.

The attacks breached Gemalto's office networks and attempted to intercept the encryption keys. But it ultimately failed, due to a secure transfer system Gemalto had in place.

Plus, the company said that even if the encryption keys had been stolen, the spy agencies would only have the ability to spy on communications over 2G mobile networks, as 3G and 4G networks "are not vulnerable to this type of attack."

Based in the Netherlands, Gemalto reportedly makes two billion SIM cards per year. Clients includeAT&T (T, Tech30), T-Mobile (TMUS), Verizon (VZ, Tech30), Sprint (S) and about 450 other global telecom firms. It also makes chips for credit cards and works with more than 3,000 financial institutions.

The NSA declined to comment on this matter. When asked about the incident at a public conference on Monday, NSA Director Mike Rogers said he wouldn't go into any details about the agency's secret operations.

Meanwhile, the U.K. agency GCHQ cited "a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters." The agency said its "activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight" to ensure that spy missions abide by the the European Convention on Human Rights.

CNN's Jose Pagliery contributed to this report.

Firm says it's found U.S. spyware

CNNMoney (Hong Kong)