Web Application Security
SMS protection Oct 21 2011 05:57PM
Marcel Tudorache (marceltudorache yahoo com)
Hi,

I was wondering how secure is an SMS to be used as authentication/transaction signing means for an application similar with online banking.

To make the analysis more targeted the following assumptions are made:
- I understand that the new smartphones can get viruses, but I would like to analyse the simple case where we assume that the user does his due dilligence and either does not navigate on the internet or navigates on limited number of trusted websites, so the assumption is that the user does not have an trojan/malware/virus on the smartphone.
-bluetooth is off
- Wifi off...
- the attacker does not have phisycal access to the mobile phone

I think that the SIM card is pretty difficult to be hacked, from my smart card experience(limited), I would assume that before allowing the access to the network of a cloned SIM card the operator might validate some signature of the sim-card (I guess that when the operator issues SIM cards they sign them with their private key... or a similar process).

The question is merely about the intrinsic security of receiving an SMS, and how easy would be for an attacker to read the SMS of somebody else taking into account the above assumptions.

I think it should be pretty secure, what do you think?

Thank you very much,
Marcel

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