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News in Brief

Cell Phone Junkies Beware

Two UC Berkeley graduate student researchers, along with the director from the Smartcard Developer Association, announced that digital Groupe Speciale Mobile cellular phones can be cloned.

GSM phones, designed by an association of European cellular network operators and equipment manufacturers, use a small chip known as the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) to keep the identity of the owner of the cell phone a secret.

But David Wagner and Ian Goldberg, students with UC Berkeley's Internet Security, Applications, Authentication and Cryptography Group, were able to extract the chip and successfully install it into another GSM cell phone.

Replacing the old SIM into a new phone allows the new user to charge any phone charges, such as international phone calls, onto the bill of the original owner.

According to Goldberg, the reason why he and Wagner were able to extract the SIM in hours was because GSM had kept secret the mechanism to protect the identity key.

"It took a mere few hours once we were supplied with the mechanism," Goldberg said. "The total flaw in the mechanism was that it was not subjected to public scrutiny."

--Linda Lou

Southside Ready for Revamp

The first Southside Planning meeting, organized jointly by the City of Berkeley and UC Berkeley, is scheduled to take place tonight for students and residents to voice their ideas on how to improve the area.

The meeting, expected to be held at the Trinity Methodist Church on Bancroft Way between Dana and Ellsworth streets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., is open to the public.

City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who represents the Southside area, said it is very important that students attend the meeting and speak about their concerns.

"I think it's vitally important to students to talk about the need for more student housing," Worthington said. "We need to get everyone working together for a better community."

--Melinda Marks

Berkeley Leads Peace Corps Pack

UC Berkeley has once again shown itself a leader in recruiting volunteers for the Peace Corps -- producing more students for the program than any other college or university -- by announcing its 3,000th graduate to enlist.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison trails in second place with 2,300 volunteers.

"I think you can attribute UC Berkeley's high number of volunteers to the outstanding caliber of the students," said Heidi Thoren, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps. "The UC Berkeley students are committed to making a difference not only in their communities but in foreign lands."

UC Berkeley officials and Peace Corps representatives are scheduled to visit classes tomorrow and table in Sproul Plaza to celebrate the "Berkeley 3000."

--Melinda Marks

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