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Tech Security 36C3: SIM Card Technology From A to Z


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Tech Security 36C3: SIM Card Technology From A to Z

SIM cards are all around us, and with the continuing growth of the Internet of Things, spawning technologies like NB-IoT, this might as well be very literal soon. But what do we really know about them, their internal structure, and their communication protocols? And by extension, their security? To shine some light on these questions,…

Tech Security 36C3: SIM Card Technology From A to Z

Tech Security

SIM cards are all around us, and with the continuing development of the Web of Things, generating innovations like NB-IoT, this may as well be really literal quickly. But what do we actually understand about them, their internal structure, and their interaction procedures? And by extension, their security? To shine some light on these questions, open source and mobile gadget titan [LaForge] gave an initial discuss SIM card innovations at the 36 C3 in Leipzig, Germany.

Starting with a quick history lesson on the early days of cellular networks based on the German C-Netz, and the origin of the SIM card itself, [LaForge] goes through the main specification and innovation parts of each following generation from 2G to 5G. Covering the physical basics, I/O interfaces, communication procedures, and the file system located on the SIM card, you’ll get the response to “what on Earth is PIN2 for?” along the way.

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Naturally, a talk like this, on a CCC event, wouldn’t be total without a deep and vital take a look at the security side also. Thinking about how over-the-air updates on both software application and– thanks to primarily running Java nowadays– function side are a growing number of common, there definitely is something to look at.

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