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Author Topic: Encripted Radios  (Read 1533 times)
KF7ITG
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Posts: 82




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« on: May 21, 2011, 12:44:19 PM »

Anyone know what type of radios these guys are using? Is it off the shelf Ham equipment with an add on encoding unit?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43096521/ns/nightly_news/t/cartels-using-ariz-mountaintops-spy-cops/

We were down by Aravaca (about 20 miles north of the border)the other day on a dirt road west of I19. We were stopped by Border Patrol. They just wanted to make sure we were well armed enough to be able to take care of ourselves if need be. We told them "We're good." They said just make sure you are out of here before dark. They are putting up big yellow warning signs on roads south of Tucson warning people of the danger of losing your life by just being there. That's inside the US. WOW whats with that? Any way It would be fun to be able to listen in on the smugglers radio traffic. I guess that won't happen they are already 2 jumps ahead of our law enforcement.
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1107




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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 12:49:55 PM »

With the kind of cash these smugglers have, their
equipment is most likely top-of-the-line
Motorola gear, superior to the Border Patrol, ICE.
with state of the art encription.

Money talks...B-S walks !
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2367




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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 12:55:18 PM »

Commercial equipment with basic encryption schemes are available.

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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 12:57:33 PM »

With the kind of cash these smugglers have, their
equipment is most likely top-of-the-line
Motorola gear, superior to the Border Patrol, ICE.
with state of the art encription.
Money talks...B-S walks !

Exactly. If the cocaine cartels can afford to build custom submarines to
smuggle drugs, they are probably a diversion for old Russian diesel boats
that the Coast Guard hasn't caught yet!

Ken  AD6KA
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1424




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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 01:22:29 PM »

Encryption can be anything from simple, voice inversion scrambling up to digitized voice with 3DES or AES-128 encryption.

There are also other tricks, like using Spread Spectrum, Frequency Hopping radios with encryption on top of that. You can get into things that are LPI/ LPE/ AJ (Low Probability of Intercept, Low Probability of Exploitation, Anti-Jam) technologies. I learned these techniques +25 years ago and do not feel as if I am "spilling the beans" on secret techniques or technologies. There are things way beyond my previous exposure to encrypted systems back in the 80's (non-military, just leave it at that).

Today I routinely deploy data networks for utilities that use AES-128 with FHSS on utility control systems.

The idea behind COMMSEC is to apply different levels of security. Just allowing an adversary to know that you are using a device is providing some form of usable intel.

You can bet that the "bad guys" have these capabilities to a certain degree. You can be just as certain that we employ tools to circumvent these techniques.

BTW, it is unlawful for amateur radio operators to use any form of data encryption, except on things like satellite control (FCC exemption).

Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
N8CMQ
Member

Posts: 355




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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 02:11:18 PM »

It isn't the encryption that is the bothersome question...

The scary part is cops having to ask if we are armed to travel American roads.
And to get away before dark...
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KF7ITG
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 09:19:04 PM »

Well at least out here they expect you to have some nuts and take care of yourself. There is so much Marijuana crossing the border into Arizona everyday that they won't prosecute anyone that has 500 lbs or less. The Feds say 499 lbs is now considered for for personal use Roll Eyes. Just think if we were in Chicago or New York. They would have arested us for possession of firearms and interfering with a criminals pursuit of happiness. Shocked
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1424




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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 01:13:49 AM »

It isn't the encryption that is the bothersome question...

The scary part is cops having to ask if we are armed to travel American roads.
And to get away before dark...

There were reports that the Mexican military was involved in some of the smuggling activities and some of them had even come into the US to escort shipments of drugs.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
KF7ITG
Member

Posts: 82




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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 09:36:04 AM »

We have strayed from the topic of encrypted radios.  But here is the deal on the secondary subject. Nobody wants the War on Drugs to succeed. There is just too much money in it for everyone. Anyone with any common sense knows that the border could be sealed in two weeks if they wanted to stop the drug flow. We can defeat a desert country like Iraq but we can't seal 1000 miles of our own border? Give me a break. Like Tisha says the military are most likely able to listen in on many of the smugglers radio conversations. Yet nothing happens to the three hundred cartel observation posts located inside of our country. We have our weekly rolling gun battles involving smugglers on I 10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Phoenix is now the kidnap capitol of the nation. Like you said it's terrable when your teen age daughters are getting ready to go out and you have to ask. Do you have plenty of gas ..... yes Dad. Do you have your licence .... Yes Dad. Do you have bottled water ..... Yes Dad. Do you have your phone ..... Yes Dad. Are the battries charged ..... Yes Dad. Do you have your pistol ..... Yes Dad. And that's the way it is. That said, I still would like to listen in on the smugglers radio transmissions.
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N8CMQ
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Posts: 355




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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 08:50:35 PM »

Well, to get back on track...
If I hook up my laptop to my receiver and can decrypt the transmissions, am I breaking the law?
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W5GNB
Member

Posts: 419




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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2011, 06:21:53 AM »

The radio shown in the video is a low end Kenwood commercial radio.  It can be purchased on the internet or EBAY and is commonly used by Fire and Police departments.

It is Probably nothing fancy on the encryption (If it is encrypted at all)  The news media tends to glorify any story that they get thier hooks into simply to up the ratings of thier presentation....

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KF7ITG
Member

Posts: 82




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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2011, 10:26:59 AM »

I would bet the border law enforcement is claiming encrypted radios as another excuse why they can't do their jobs. I mean really, why would you need to encrypt "OK Pedro, its all clear". No one could ever tell where such a short message originated or where Pedro was located in the first place. Anyway I have changed my mind about listening to Pedro on the radio. Now I'm thinking it might be fun to set on one of the hill tops and watch the smugglers haul several loads of drugs over the flimsy border barb wire fence. Cheesy Then post their progress on 20 meters in real time.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 10:28:58 AM by KF7ITG » Logged
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