FSB: cryptographic keys of eSIM chips should be stored in Russia

The existing Russian concept of cryptography onSIM cards are not fully consistent with the concept of technology eSIM. A special module is built into mobile devices using eSIM that replaces a traditional SIM card. In this case, the owner receives the number by scanning the QR code provided by the operator or receives it through a special operator application.

In Russia, eSIM technology is usedApple's iPhone XR, XS and XS Max and Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Among smartphone manufacturers such technology is actively promoted by Gemalto, Idemia, Ericsson, GigSky, Samsung, Nokia HPE, Huawei, China Telecom.

The contradiction of the domestic concept and technologyeSIM is that all embedded modules are produced abroad, there are also boot platforms, and, therefore, cryptographic keys are outside Russia, which does not guarantee their safety, and therefore the protection of confidentiality of communication lines.

Russian experts from the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, FSB,The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), VimpelCom, MTS and MegaFon concluded that the initialization of eSIM chips must be done within Russia, the servers of platforms for downloading eSIM profiles must also be in the Russian Federation. In addition, manufacturers of devices with eSIM and platform developers through official representative offices in Russia must obtain all licenses required by law. Equal access to the use of eSIM technologies should also be provided for all operators, and the device interface should not be configured to select a particular operator or platform.

Currently in Russia since AprileSIM technology from Tele2 is being tested. The FSB is against the introduction of technology, because of the difficulty of using domestic cryptography and leading mobile operators, who simply fear competition and customer churn.