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Old 03-01-2009, 8:38 PM
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Default digital encryption

Is it ever possible that a scanner company will make a scanner capable of listening or able to recieve these new digital encrypted TG's??? We all thought scanning was dead with trunking and even digital. but now with encryption, most all the tac channels of any major city are not going to be heard...Just curious cause this encrytion thing is a killer of good listening..
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Old 03-01-2009, 8:43 PM
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Well its pretty much impossible.

Whether is software or hardware, encryption uses algorithms applied to the audio. There is a GIGANTIC number of possibilities as to what the key was generated.

And thats IF you can figure out what type of encryption they are using.

And that ALSO doesnt take into account if they are regularly changing keys with things like OTAR.

So the long and short is.....no.
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Old 03-01-2009, 8:44 PM
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Two letter answer. NO. It is against federal law to decode encrypted messages not intended for you.
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Old 03-01-2009, 8:44 PM
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Oh yea and the whole legal side too.
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Old 03-01-2009, 9:04 PM
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Been discussed about 1000 times. The answer is NO.

The answer is NO for technical, operational AND legal reasons.

Solving or ignoring one or two of the above reasons will not fix the third.
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Old 03-01-2009, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboymike1971 View Post
Is it ever possible that a scanner company will make a scanner capable of listening or able to recieve these new digital encrypted TG's??? We all thought scanning was dead with trunking and even digital. but now with encryption, most all the tac channels of any major city are not going to be heard...Just curious cause this encrytion thing is a killer of good listening..
Dear Cow, this is a perhaps a two part answer for you. Digital is not encryption. The current crop of scanners however only decode APCO25 modulation. They do not decode Pro Voice or any other GE Tyco form of digital although they do sell APCO25

Encryption is not always digital. As others have said it would be against the Federal Law and is currently almost impossible.

Hope this helps and clears up the issue.
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Old 03-07-2009, 6:38 PM
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maybe instead legislation can help to open it to the public,
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:38 PM
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maybe instead legislation can help to open it to the public,
Encryption?? Don't think so, encryption is used for security reasons. If you don't have a need to know what is being discussed, then you don't have a need to listen.

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:10 PM
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Encryption decoding for public, private, and radio dealers will never be allowed by law and copyright. However it can be and is being done by some who protect us and some who have found the trick how to do this.Lets just think about this for a minute Does anybody think that Motorola or Tyco's one line HEX- DEC (audio only) is unhackable? Well just let me point to nagravision, powerview, digicypher(Motorola's 4DTV), viaccess, and others that do cable and satellite TV encryption. All have been hacked to some point if not fully cracked on up 40 lines (each for audio and video) that can change keys for audio and video up to 15 times in 1 hour if not more and assign them to over 200 slots. Motorola, Tyco and all others 1 line 1 slot. So to boil it down (1) yes it can be done. (2) no not with a scanner ever.
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Old 03-24-2009, 9:33 AM
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The best bet to deal with encryption is to just ask the users of the system to turn it on or off. I know it sounds goofy, but it may work.

We use a P25 trunking for the FD I work for. As long as the users of the system are not violating any SOG's or SOP's you can manually turn encryption on or off. (At least on our radios you have the ability to do that). At our department it is NOT a violation of SOP's to turn off encryption unless you are utilizing a channel and need to transmit secure information (Social Security Numbers, Pt names and information, ect).

I always try to leave the encryption off on the main dispatch channel so people using digital scanners can hear the dispatch side and units responding.
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Old 03-24-2009, 4:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmintern View Post
The best bet to deal with encryption is to just ask the users of the system to turn it on or off. I know it sounds goofy, but it may work.

We use a P25 trunking for the FD I work for. As long as the users of the system are not violating any SOG's or SOP's you can manually turn encryption on or off. (At least on our radios you have the ability to do that). At our department it is NOT a violation of SOP's to turn off encryption unless you are utilizing a channel and need to transmit secure information (Social Security Numbers, Pt names and information, ect).

I always try to leave the encryption off on the main dispatch channel so people using digital scanners can hear the dispatch side and units responding.
Sounds kinda foolish having FDs using encryption.That makes no since to me.Any PT information that needs to be secure can be given at the hospital
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Old 03-24-2009, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
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Encryption decoding for public, private, and radio dealers will never be allowed by law and copyright. However it can be and is being done by some who protect us and some who have found the trick how to do this.Lets just think about this for a minute Does anybody think that Motorola or Tyco's one line HEX- DEC (audio only) is unhackable? Well just let me point to nagravision, powerview, digicypher(Motorola's 4DTV), viaccess, and others that do cable and satellite TV encryption. All have been hacked to some point if not fully cracked on up 40 lines (each for audio and video) that can change keys for audio and video up to 15 times in 1 hour if not more and assign them to over 200 slots. Motorola, Tyco and all others 1 line 1 slot. So to boil it down (1) yes it can be done. (2) no not with a scanner ever.

If you are so sure, just find someone who has done it.

The encryption schemes hacked are nothing compared to AES, AND, the hack is usually the result of a security vaunrability well known prior to the hack, and closed in the next version after the hack.

NONE of that stuff hacks was FIPS certified (to the best of my knowledge).

Now if you want to argue, all I ask, is for you to promise not to come back until you have your proof.

Good luck, and good night.
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Old 03-24-2009, 5:29 PM
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Getting all misty as I type this - I hadn't read a schoolyard argument about "My older brother's software can beat up your older brother's encryption" message in such a long time.

Sigh

It's always so much fun to watch these threads head for the Tavern! They almost need their own category.
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Old 03-24-2009, 5:58 PM
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Sounds kinda foolish having FDs using encryption.That makes no since to me.Any PT information that needs to be secure can be given at the hospital
At first, your right, it sure does sound foolish. However we service an interesting area. We run about 8600 calls a year, dual response fire and EMS, mostly EMS. We service a mostly older population, and in two different geographical locations. about 2/3's of our county could be considered suburban population and the remainder is rural. We have 5 total stations servicing the area, one of which being a combo career/volunteer (the one I am stationed at). The problem we seem to run into with pt confidentially issues is the older non compliant volunteer members who get on the main dispatch channel and start asking for pt names. Example,

"Is that Donna Jones's residence?"

When in fact it is Donna Jones and yes, she is having a rectal bleed. Catch my drift?

We also tend to pass out personal cell phone numbers over tac channels, make cell contact with the battalion chief via cell rather than tying up a radio channel. So that type of information is nice when it's encrypted.
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Old 03-25-2009, 5:14 PM
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Put it this way, Unless you have 2 or 3 parallel connected CRAY Supercomputers in your garage, and they are set up to Brute Force the encryption algorithm from the voice sample 24 hours a day for a few months, you might get it then .
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Old 04-02-2009, 1:39 PM
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Encryption in a two-way radio system is very definitely a double edged sword. In order to do it right, an agency really needs to change the encryption keys regularly, ensure that lost or stolen radios are not only disabled but the keys are erased, and maintain VERY tight security around the key generation/loading system. In almost every real world public safety (cop/fire/ems) environment this just isn't happening, which at best is dangerously complacent (we think we're secure when we really aren't) and at worst means that some folks that SHOULD get calls don't because of poor configuration.

One of the worst arguments for encryption is that it enhances operational security - a SWAT team "needs" it so that the bad guys don't hear them coming for example. Unfortunately, all the bad guys have to do is look for an uptick in calls that are encrypted, and they get telegraphed warning that a SWAT operation is going down. The bad guys don't NEED to hear the traffic to know to load up - they just have to see an increase in traffic. Again, the encryption employed means that the agency has a false sense of security. It's far better for SWAT operations to use simplex analog, rather than digital in any event, as often that 30mS vocoding delay is VERY important in split second situations.

Encryption is a good thing however where sensitive information is being relayed - like the social security numbers, phone numbers and personal information the previous posters have alluded to. It's good operation practice to have dispatch unencrypted, but services (license plates, and other details) encrypted in some manner just to prevent identity theft if nothing else. It's better of course for this kind of check to be done over the data networks rather than over the air by voice, and less error prone too.

Bottom line is that for almost all agencies, encryption is an expensive solution to a problem that's better tackled in other ways.
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Old 04-02-2009, 1:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wayfreq View Post
Put it this way, Unless you have 2 or 3 parallel connected CRAY Supercomputers in your garage, and they are set up to Brute Force the encryption algorithm from the voice sample 24 hours a day for a few months, you might get it then .
Actually, DES can be broken using high-end PC gear in a reasonable amount of time (less than a day) now.

Cracking DES Encryption - MyCrypto.net
CNN - Cracking DES code all in a day's work for security experts - January 21, 1999
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