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Gemplus Combats SIM Card Cloning with Strong Key Security Solution

The GSM Association has validated the Gemplus Strong Key Solution for SIM Security to
limit fraud in early SIM cards

  • Strong Key foils SIM cloning that has been directed against the Comp128 v.1 authentication algorithm
  • Solution allows operators to continue to use early SIMs as they phase in more advanced algorithms without compromising security

CARTES 2002, PARIS - 5 November 2002 - Gemplus (Paris Euronext: Euroclear 5768 and NASDAQ: GEMP), the world's leading provider of smart card-enabled solutions, announces the launch of its Strong Key solution to prevent the cloning of early SIM cards that use the Comp128 v.1 algorithm. This industry first from Gemplus was patented earlier in the year.

Since 1999, the GSM Association has recommended that operators migrate from Comp128 v.1 to either v.2 or v.3 algorithms. However, for operators still using Comp128 v.1, Gemplus has found a way to protect the SIM against the much-publicized cloning kits. Gemplus' Strong Key solution generates keys that can withstand cloning attacks, allowing operators to continue to use Comp128 v.1 as they phase in the more advanced v.2 and v.3 algorithms without compromising the security of the SIM.

"A recently developed fraud prevention measure may be of interest to operators eager to optimize their fraud prevention. This is Gemplus' Strong Key solution. This solution consists of picking the Comp128 v.1 keys in a carefully selected sub-space, and so resists the attacks implemented by the cloning kits found on the Internet, which Gemplus has bought and analyzed," states James Moran, fraud & security director, GSM Association.

This technology has received an enthusiastic response among GSM operators worldwide. An initial contract for Gemplus' Strong Key solution has been signed in Europe and discussions are currently underway with operators in Asia.

Gemplus' commitment to security
With security at the heart of every smart card developed and delivered, Gemplus has made an ongoing commitment to its customers to monitor new risks and continually improve the security of information systems. Each new generation of technology presents a series of new risks, meaning that security must constantly be reviewed and upgraded. This industry-leading security work lies at the heart of the Strong Key solution announced today.

Etienne Cambois, telecom manager in the Gemplus card security group, said: "Digital security is not a technology that you can buy. It is a comprehensive commitment over time to protect, monitor and improve digital information systems. It is part of Gemplus' ongoing dedication to provide the utmost security to our customers. It is essential to continually monitor changes in the security landscape and implement the appropriate upgrades in an efficient and effective manner."

Gemplus works with industry-leading experts in cryptography and digital security who together play an active role in industrial and academic research. Gemplus' track record of innovative solutions addresses even the most critical security problems. This is supported by strong consulting services designed to help customers integrate security into their total system. For more information, see:

About Gemplus
GEMPLUS: the world's leading provider of smart card solutions

Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience to people's lives. These include mobile Internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a wealth of other applications.

Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.

In 2001, Gemplus was the worldwide smart card leader in both revenues and total smart card shipments (source: Gartner-Dataquest and Frost & Sullivan). Gemplus was also awarded Frost & Sullivan's 2002 Market Value Award for its exceptional performance.

Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the NASDAQ Stock Market as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2001 was 1 billion Euros.

Gemplus: Beyond Smart

For further information please contact:

Marielle Bricman
Gemplus Corporate PR Manager
Tel: +33 442 36 5596

©2002 Gemplus All rights reserved. Gemplus and the Gemplus logo are trademarks and service marks of Gemplus S.A. and are registered in certain countries. All other trademarks and service marks, whether registered or not in specific countries, are the property of their respective owners. Java and Java Card are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.