Gemalto, confirmed that it now has “reasonable grounds” to believe that the NSA and GCHQ did indeed hack its network in 2010-2011. Gemalto noted however that even if encryption keys had been stolen, the spy agencies involved would only have picked up the ability to spy on generation 2G mobile networks. Why is all this relevant to FinTech? Gemalto provide a number of services that are key to mobile payments providers.
In particular, in 2010 and 2011, we detected two particularly sophisticated intrusions which could be related to the operation. In June 2010, we noticed suspicious activity in one of our French sites where a third party was trying to spy on the office network. By office network we mean the one used by employees to communicate with each other and the outside world. Action was immediately taken to counter the threat. In July 2010, a second incident was identified by our Security Team. This involved fake emails sent to one of our mobile operator customers spoofing legitimate Gemalto email addresses. The fake emails contained an attachment that could download malicious code. We immediately informed the customer and also notified the relevant authorities both of the incident itself and the type of malware used.