According to TG Daily, German security expert Karsten Nohls claims he has cracked the GSM encryption algorithm, making calls vulnerable to snooping. Using equipment that cost a few thousand dollars and a set of cracking tables, Nohls and his team were able to listen in on conversations.
BBC News reports that Nohls says the point of his work is to raise awareness about the inadequacy of GSM security:
We hope to create some additional pressure and demand from customers for better encryption.
Although a GSM Association spokesperson says, "This isn't something that we take lightly at all," the association does not consider the attack practical:
All in all, we consider this research, which appears to be motivated in part by commercial considerations, to be a long way from being a practical attack on GSM.