A new encryption scheme for protecting 3G phone networks hasn’t even gone
into commercial use and already cryptographers have cracked it — at least
theoretically.

In a paper published Tuesday, the cryptographers showed that the Kasumi
cipher, which is also referred to as A5/3, can be broken using what’s known as a
related-key attack, in which a message encrypted with one key is later changed
to one or more different keys. The team dubbed the technique a sandwich attack
because it was broken into three parts: two thick slices at the top and bottom
and a thin slice in the middle.

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