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Gemalto is a French multinational company with offices in 44 countries and approx. 12,000 people on the payroll. The company supplies a range of security products such as bank payment cards and access tokens and is the world's largest supplier of SIM cards for mobile phones. The company was formed in 2006 from the merger of Axalto and Gemplus International and has its statutory seat in Amsterdam (Netherlands). In 2012 Gemalto reported a revenue of 2.246 billion.

Gemalto logo. Copyright Gemalto [1].

The core business of the Gemalto is to protect data, transactions and identities. According to their corporate website [1], Gemalto delivers security services to more than 30,000 businesses, 3000 financial institutions and 2 billion people in 190+ countries, more than any other company in the world. The company secures more than 80% of the world's intra-bank fund transfers.

On 8 August 2014 it was announced that Gemalto was to acquire SafeNet, an American company that specializes in data encryption, authentication and software protection, for US$890 million [2]. On 8 January 2015, the deal was finalized, making SafeNet a full subsidary of Gemalto [3]. SafeNet was founded in 1983 by two former NSA Engineers and has since taken over numerous companies, including Gretag, Pijnenburg Securealink, Datakey and Rainbow Technologies.

On 19 February 2015, Gemalto was in the news because the American National Security Agency (NSA) and their British counterpart GCHQ had allegedly hacked the company's secure database and acquired the cryptographic keys of millions of mobile phone SIM cards [4]. Although it is known from documents revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden that Gemalto was targeted by the NSA and GCHQ, other companies were on the target list as well and it is currently unknown how many keys were actually stolen or how efficient the application of such keys would be [5].

  1. Gemalto, Company website
    Retrieved Febrary 2015.

  2. Gemalto, Gemalto to acquire SafeNet
    8 August 2014. Retrieved February 2015.

  3. Gemalto, Gemalto finalizes the acquisition of SafeNet
    8 January 2015. Retrieved February 2015.

  4. The Intercept, The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
    19 February 2015. Retrieved February 2015.

  5. Peter Koop, NSA and GCHQ stealing SIM card keys: a few things you should know
    Top Level Cmmunications, website. 23 February 2015.
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