A Berlin security firm has cracked the encryption code for some mobile phones using the Internet, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing the company's chief.
The discovery of a way to eavesdrop so-called General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology allows a user to read emails and observe the Internet use of a person whose phone is hacked, said Karsten Nohl, head of Security Research Labs.
"With our technology we can capture GPRS data communications in a radius of 5 km," he told the paper before heading to a meeting of the Chaos Computer Club, a group that describes itself as Europe's largest hacker coalition.
Phones using the newer UMTS standard are safer, Nohl said, but the crack effects industrial equipment, toll systems and anything using GPRS -- including newer devices like Apple's iPhone or iPad which switch to the older GPRS in remote areas.
(Writing by Brian Rohan; Editing by Richard Chang)