Flaw in Cell Phone Encryption Identified

On March 20th, 1997, Counterpane Labs announced the discovery of a flaw in the privacy protection used in today’s most advanced digital cellular phones.

March 20th Press Release
CMEA specification
Related Article: Why Cryptography is Harder than it Looks

Press Coverage

The CMEA flaw received widespread press coverage. A few of the articles are archived on this site.

March 20th

Washington Post, San Jose Mercury-News, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Reuters, San Diego Daily Transcript , New York Times, Dow Jones Newsline, The Record, TR Daily, TechWire

March 21st

The Washington Post, USA Today, WirelessNOW, CBS This Morning, Communications Daily, Associated Press, Dow Jones Business News, The Wall Street Journal


Communications Week, The European, The Daily Yomiuri, Electronic Engineering Times, Telephony, Telecommunications Reports, Computing Canada

Industry Response

Cellular Telephone Industry Responds
Counterpane’s Reply to CTIA Response

Watch the Rats Flee


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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.