TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: SMS Security??

Re: SMS Security??

Isaiah Beard (
Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:41:42 -0500

bensmyth wrote:

> Hi,

> When I send an SMS is it sent securely??

That depends on a lot of things, primarily what signalling format the
carrier is using and whether that carrier has chosen to implement
encryption protocols for SMS traffic. Even then, you can't be assured
that the carrier at the receiving end has the same level of security.

So, the short safe answer is that you should never assume that text
messages are being sent securely, even if you are a subcriber of a
service that claims to be doing so. No one can guarantee end-to-end

> How can I be assured of this?? (What protocols, cryptography is used?)

Again, protocols vary even as an individual message travels to its
destination. You should never be assured that any secure method is
being used to transmit SMS messages.

> Would the answer be the same if $1,000 were at stake? How about $10,000?
> $100,000??

Why would it be any different based on monetary value? The phone or
network is not sensitive of SMS messages that may have a greater
monetary value than any other. To the network and the terminals at
either end, it's just data.

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