The Weakest Link

I have a hobbyist interest in computer and electronic security, so I found this article by the BBC intriguing, Hackers crack open mobile network.

Aside from the attention-grabbing headline, what is most apparent to me about this is that a single weak link (in this case a readily available and crackable mobile handset) has led to the previously very hard to read base station signals being intercepted.

While the Chaos Computer Club members have demonstrated this in faith that operators will do something about it, the basic feature that a low cost entry point has been used as a lever to force a breakage in to a high value system shows yet another failure due to a lack of systems thinking. 

That such system failures are available is demonstrative that we still have a long way to come in understanding a systematic way of producing properly protected product.

Some might jump onto the “blame Motorola” wagon for the initial crack that allowed the door to be opened.  I’m just hoping we can learn from this to make all our system security less reliant on that these weak links are and will be present.


About Tim Heywood

Brief Bio: work: Information Systems governance, electronic security, best business use of computer apps. See my about page. non-work: sailor, scuba diver, Bournemouth live music junkie. See
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