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-   -   FCC consent decree on unauthorized use of MPSCS (https://forums.radioreference.com/michigan-radio-discussion-forum/370509-fcc-consent-decree-unauthorized-use-mpscs.html)

Thunderknight 05-16-2018 9:12 PM

FCC consent decree on unauthorized use of MPSCS
 
..."The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission has
entered into a Consent Decree to resolve its investigation into whether Cameron Thurston (Thurston)
violated Sections 301 and 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), and Sections
90.20, 90.403, 90.405 and 90.425 of the Commission’s rules by operating on spectrum that the
Commission has licensed for use by the Michigan Public Safety Communications Network (MPSCS).
These sections of the Act and the Commission’s rules ensure that spectrum remains available for
exclusive use by public safety entities by prohibiting unauthorized operations, prohibiting willful or
malicious interference, establishing eligibility requirements to obtain a license for spectrum reserved for
public safety uses, delineating the scope of permitted communications, and requiring authorized stations
periodically to transmit call signs or similar station or system identification when using a public safety
network. Unauthorized use of public safety radio networks, such as the MPSCS, poses a unique threat to
public safety because it can “create[] a scenario in which a dispatcher might not be able to hear and
respond to an emergency transmission” from authorized users, thereby endangering the safety of first
responders and the public they are called to protect"...

Full order here: https://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Rel...A-18-462A1.pdf

krokus 05-17-2018 12:58 AM

Methinks the FCC is about to unload on someone.

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kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 9:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krokus (Post 2932170)
Methinks the FCC is about to unload on someone.

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I suggest reading the attached document.

KevinC 05-17-2018 9:18 AM

“youthful trainee”

Interesting...

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 9:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinC (Post 2932307)
“youthful trainee”



Interesting...



Yup. Much more fodder to encrypt the control channel.


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kb8dam 05-17-2018 9:36 AM

Since the radio was cloned, would an encrypted control channel have even made a difference?

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 9:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kb8dam (Post 2932314)
Since the radio was cloned, would an encrypted control channel have even made a difference?

Yes. You would need a valid encryption key to decode the control channel data. Encryption keys can not be cloned out of one radio into another. A valid key would have to be loaded into the radio by a KVL...

NVAGVUP 05-17-2018 9:45 AM

The $64 question is how did he get the system key?

I_am_Alpha1 05-17-2018 9:47 AM

I need to get the contact info for this guy's lawyer. Two felony charges reduced to a civil matter with a small fine and basically probation.

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 9:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NVAGVUP (Post 2932320)
The $64 question is how did he get the system key?

Seriously? Motorola Software System Key generator have been in the wild for YEARS, and not hard to find.

iMONITOR 05-17-2018 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayn1n32008 (Post 2932308)
Yup. Much more fodder to encrypt the control channel.

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Encryption would not prevent interference.

JameyNotNormal 05-17-2018 10:44 AM

so if it was a clone how do they know for sure it was his radio that transmitted all those times and not the county radio other than claiming the county radio is rarely used? the 2 have the same radio id.

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMONITOR (Post 2932350)
Encryption would not prevent interference.


Rear the order.

He was considered causing ‘interference’ because he cloned a valid ID and was actually making voice transmissions on the network.

Had the control channel been encrypted, he would not have been able to access the network because he would not have been able to obtain a valid encryption key and there for would not have been able to affiliate to the network, and there fore not be able to make transmissions on the network.

He would also not be able to NAS(had it actually been programmed properly to NAS) the network, because his radio would not be able to decode the control channel.


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jaspence 05-17-2018 10:50 AM

Trainee?
 
Someone is going to train him to do what? Understand the radio better??? I have seen much larger fines and license restrictions or permanent loss of license on hams for far less serious offenses. Just another example of our whimpy courts and the "he didn't really understand what he was doing" philosophy.

iMONITOR 05-17-2018 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayn1n32008 (Post 2932371)
Rear the order.

He was considered causing ‘interference’ because he cloned a valid ID and was actually making voice transmissions on the network.

Had the control channel been encrypted, he would not have been able to access the network because he would not have been able to obtain a valid encryption key and there for would not have been able to affiliate to the network, and there fore not be able to make transmissions on the network.

He would also not be able to NAS(had it actually been programmed properly to NAS) the network, because his radio would not be able to decode the control channel.


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Yes I fully understand all of that. But none of that relates to my comment. If they use encryption, and the guy transmits on the control channel, he can interfere with their system without the need for a key, or affiliation, if that's his intention.

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMONITOR (Post 2932408)
Yes I fully understand all of that. But none of that relates to my comment. If they use encryption, and the guy transmits on the control channel, he can interfere with their system without the need for a key, or affiliation, if that's his intention.

Text below from: https://redirect.viglink.com/?format...A-18-462A1.pdf

"...that Mr. Thurston was in possession of a radio capable of operating on the MPSCS. After confirming that Mr. Thurston was not an authorized user of the MPSCS, the officer seized the radio under authority provided by state law. Another Michigan State Police officer specializing in the organization’s radio equipment subsequently inspected the seized radio and determined that it was able to connect with, and operate on, the MPSCS because the device was a “clone” of an infrequently used radio belonging to Oscoda County, Michigan, that was authorized to operate on the MPSCS. As a “clone,” the device in Mr. Thurston’s possession operated using the same radio identifier code as the Oscoda County radio. Because the MPSCS recognized the code transmitted by Mr. Thurston’s radio as belonging to the authorized Oscoda County radio, the system permitted Mr. Thurston’s radio to make and receive transmissions on the state-wide network. According to records provided by the Michigan State Police, between July 15, 2015, and April 21, 2017, the cloned radio in Mr. Thurston’s possession transmitted on the MPSCS 989 times, with the average transmission lasting 4.8 seconds.19 Based on information provided by the MPSCS, during each such push-to-talk transmission, other authorized users of the “talk group” on which the cloned radio was then transmitting would not have been able to make their own transmissions during the brief periods when Mr. Thurston was transmitting on the MPSCS. The Michigan State Police have not alleged that Mr. Thurston made any false or threatening transmissions on the MPSCS."

He was making voice transmissions with his radio that had the cloned ID programmed in it. Control channel encryption would have prevented this. It would not stop a radio from trying to affiliate, but if it was encrypted, he would have no reason to attempt to clone a radio onto the system.

iMONITOR 05-17-2018 12:09 PM

Never mind, you're still missing my point.

KC4RAF 05-17-2018 12:14 PM

If the system was encrypted but his not, he could not get the control channel/frequency to transmit.
Thus no interference.

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JameyNotNormal (Post 2932365)
so if it was a clone how do they know for sure it was his radio that transmitted all those times and not the county radio other than claiming the county radio is rarely used? the 2 have the same radio id.


Corroborate where he was at the time the system was receiving the channel grant requests from the cloned ID. Very easy to do with peoples use of cell phones. Once you establish a timeline of what sites were receiving channel grants for that RID, confirm the location and status of the actual radio assigned that RID. If the actual county radio is not on, or is being used on a different site, you can show what radio is what. Another way is to look at the affiliation logs for the RID. If it is affiliating with talk groups the actual radio does not have programmed, it eliminated the actual radio as well.

The fact that "the device was a “clone” of an infrequently
used radio belonging to Oscoda County, Michigan..." likely made corroborating the actions of this person pretty easy.

kayn1n32008 05-17-2018 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMONITOR (Post 2932432)
Never mind, you're still missing my point.

No, I am not missing the point.

You are taking this specific situation and making it something it is not.


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