Siemens offers cordless encryption phone

Siemens phone ensures maximum security and accelerated encryption process

It might be a good thing if members of organized crime groups aren't big readers of IT news because they'd certainly be interested in this product: a cordless encryption phone.

The Gigaset SL74X, unveiled Thursday at the Cebit trade show, is being billed as the world's first cordless encryption phone by Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices, a newly created subsidiary of Siemens.

"Cord-based encryption phones are already available but they have one slight drawback; often people who use these phones such as government officials or even business executives are in rooms that can be bugged," said Nicholas Ord, vice president innovation at the Siemens subsidiary. "With this phone, they can step out, say, onto an outdoor balcony or even the street and make a call."

Ord said the voice quality of the SL74X is also superior to that of most cord-based phones.

The phone uses a digital signal processor with the latest encryption standards: AES-CBC 128-bit with SHA 256, and Diffie-Hellman 3072-bit Public Key, Siemens said.

The combination of synchronous and asynchronous encryption and secure hash algorithms normally used only by banks and government authorities, ensures maximum security and a considerably accelerated encryption process, the company said.

A single phone will cost €1,750 ($2,084) and two phones, required to make encrypted cordless calls, will be available for less than €3,000, according to Ord. The product will be available in the third quarter of 2006.