Starting at page 10 of the Security Now PDF transcript, Steve Gibson describes the weakness of GSM's encryption technology. At page 12 he discusses the current approach for cracking GSM that makes use of:
- A Universal Software Radio Peripheral available from Ettus. This provides the necessary radio hardware. A 7-inch receiver board with appropriate daughterboards can tune the radio frequencies of interest and capture a wide swath of RF spectrum via USB or Gigabit Ethernet interface.
- The GNU Software Radio, which provides free, open source software to accomplish the needed signal processing.
- A distributed computing project to crack the encryption and compile it into a code book
This project to explore and demonstrate the vulnerability of GSM encryption provides an example of the emerging power of SDR technology.