Encrypted Traffic

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infidel1959

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Just heard that the City of Goodland and Sherman County are going to encrypt their signals. Is there a work around, I have a Radio Shack Pro 106 digital scanner?
 

NC5267

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Sad thing is there are a lot of city and county agencies all over the nation that are starting to ecrypt all of there traffic, it use to be just for federal agencies and sensitive comms on local systems like SWAT etc...But now even daily ops channels like dispatch etc.. are being encrypted by some agencies
 

sphipps

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You may "luck" out somewhat and only dispatch will be encrypted... leaving patrol car communications in the clear. That's what they're doing here. If that's the case, at least you can still halfway understand what's going on.

There's no way to get around digital encryption and probably never will.
 

fourthhorseman

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There's no way to get around digital encryption and probably never will. ...



Never is a strong word,,a couple years ago i asked if one could decode p25
with n analog radio that was tapped..

replies were of the tone,,Never,,no way,,,

Now theres DSD and Everyone with a half way descent machine is patchin
a 1/8 cord itno the line in,,

software keys are easily cracked now,,
ECN is not the same,,but it is..

others will vigorously disagree,,but technology is going there..
 

JoeyC

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Never is a strong word.....................
others will vigorously disagree,,but technology is going there..
Never is a strong word and an accurate one in this scenario.
Even if technology were going in the direction of being able to crack these encryption schemes real-time, technology is also going in the direction of making them more secure and changing just as quickly. Good luck trying to keep up! :lol:
 

fourthhorseman

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i respectfully disagree..enc will advance,,but so will technology..maybe behind the edge of the Most advanced,,but we All know,,not all agancies will be keeping up with that advancement,or at least not at teh same pace,,financially it wont be possible for everyone..and once the first system is opened up it will be an avalanche..but i would not expect to see many boasting about it..

just looking beyond the Now,,
 
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JoeyC

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There is a lot more $$$ being used to maintain data and communication security than there is in any attempts to break it.

Now you can disagree emphatically with that statement also but remember the OP asked if there was any workaround because his local units were going to encrypt not whether a foreign government was attempting to hack into secure US computers.

The simple answer is there will never be any workaround for this. Not now, not later.
 

sphipps

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I read somewhere it would take a supercomputer 30+ years to generate keys and try each combination possible... and since administrators can easily change keys, the process would need to start over and over.

Sounds pretty impossible to me.
 

n0lqt

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I read somewhere it would take a supercomputer 30+ years to generate keys and try each combination possible... and since administrators can easily change keys, the process would need to start over and over. Sounds pretty impossible to me.
But then a 16 yr old kid from Ireland cracked RSA back in 2007 when it was said to be "secure" enough for government use.

WiFi WEP-40 and WEP2 (104) were thought to be secure, yet both were "cracked" within 2 years of being adopted as THE WiFi SECURITY STANDARD for the 21st Century.

The German Enigma machines of WWII were supposedly the pinnacle of encryption technology of their time. Yet the Polish had actually decrypted them even before the outbreak of war in 1939. The Germans added more complexity to it making it harder to crack, so the British threw more computing power (read that as "Ultra", a.k.a. human brains) at it and continued to decrypt it. When timeliness became an issue, the Allies simply stole a machine. Several in fact.

Moore's Law will always win in the end. It all comes down to how much computing power can be thrown at something and how timely it is needed. And as the Allies figured out, if you can't decrypt it quickly, steal a machine and decrypt just like the other guys. We already see a blackmarket in stolen police radios with encryption tech installed. Drug dealers don't leave home without it. The bottom line is, if you can read it legally, someone else is going to figure out how to read it illegally....
 

KAA951

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There is no lawful way to monitor encrypted radio traffic with a scanner.
 

n0lqt

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Actually, the BEST antidote is PUBLIC PRESSURE.

Most Sheriffs in this country are still elected officials. As such, they must face the voters every 2 to 4 years. A Sheriff who authorizes his department (or condones the decision of a non-elected administrator) to encrypt all radio traffic is left open to accusations of "trying to hide something" from the public. Whether it is true or not is not germane, the bad press alone just before an election can be enough to reverse the decision. Getting local media to run with a "What are they trying to hide? story" is usually pretty easy also. They are just as interested in PS radio traffic as the avid scanner listener. It is usually their first "lead" on breaking news stories.

Start a letter writing campaign, letters to the Agency, letters to the Newspapers, TV, and Radio stations. Talk it up at the local coffee shop. Get the word out if you can't get a response from the local officials that makes sense. "Officer Safety" is always the catch phrase that officials like to use, but encrypting ALL radio traffic just won't hold water in the face of facts and reason.

Some encryption is a necessary evil in today’s world. Full time encryption is an invitation to abuse of power…. It is unfortunate that we've had to go from the "friendly beat cop down on the corner" that everybody knows, to a world where the police drive around in low visibilty vehicles (i.e. non-black & whites and few markings with interior visual warning devices) with the windows up and no contact with the public except during a call or traffic stop. OK, soap-box mode off now....
 

kruser

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But then a 16 yr old kid from Ireland cracked RSA back in 2007 when it was said to be "secure" enough for government use.

WiFi WEP-40 and WEP2 (104) were thought to be secure, yet both were "cracked" within 2 years of being adopted as THE WiFi SECURITY STANDARD for the 21st Century.

The German Enigma machines of WWII were supposedly the pinnacle of encryption technology of their time. Yet the Polish had actually decrypted them even before the outbreak of war in 1939. The Germans added more complexity to it making it harder to crack, so the British threw more computing power (read that as "Ultra", a.k.a. human brains) at it and continued to decrypt it. When timeliness became an issue, the Allies simply stole a machine. Several in fact.

Moore's Law will always win in the end. It all comes down to how much computing power can be thrown at something and how timely it is needed. And as the Allies figured out, if you can't decrypt it quickly, steal a machine and decrypt just like the other guys. We already see a blackmarket in stolen police radios with encryption tech installed. Drug dealers don't leave home without it. The bottom line is, if you can read it legally, someone else is going to figure out how to read it illegally....
All very true. I doubt there will ever be a way to fully protect an RF radio signal with 100% certainty.
If it can be built, it can be torn down as has been proven over and over.
I'm against the push from the Telcos to abandon their wireline or fiber infrastructure and start investing everything in wireless for this very reason. Given enough interest, it will be cracked and hacked.
 

gunner33

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I live in ks is there any way to tell if my local police in ja county are encrypted before I buy a digital scanner?
 

n0lqt

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I believe only the SO TAC talkgroups are routinely encrypted on KSICS. I don't know if they still even use their VHF stuff. You might try listening to the audio feed here on RR to see if you hear them....
 

mrkevin02

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Today I was able to have a talk with our undersheriff who is running for sheriff in the August primary. The first question I asked him was "if he was elected would he turn off the encryption on the main dispatch channel?" His answer was I don't know anything about our radio's except that you push the button to talk. I told him that it should be easy to toggle on and off encryption as needed. I told him that I understand the need to have a channel for encrypted traffic, but what are you hiding when you have your routine dispatch channel encrypted. He wanted to know what was routine traffic. I told him traffic stops, fire calls, car wrecks even weather spotting & reporting. I told him the best weather alert for our area is Kansas Highway Patrol. He said just get a NOAA weather radio. I told him that some times I hear weather from KHP 5 to 10 minutes before my NOAA radio goes off. He then told me that car stops are kind of private. I asked him how could a car stop be private when it happens along side the rode? I got no answer.

I told him all I was asking for was just the main dispatch channel to be in the clear. The undersheriff then told me that the sheriff's office only has 2 channels; county dispatch and SW Kansas 12. When I told him that the county has 4 channels, (I didn't say talk groups, I was affraid that would really confuse him) dispatch, tactical, Operations, and ambulance to hospital channel. He wanted to argue, but I told him I had hear traffic on all four channels. He then said oh I think they are patched over.

As we continued to talk about turning off the encryption The undersheriff said that everyone was going to it around us. I told him that Finney County was the only county that was fully encrypted, Haskle, Gray & Gove counties I could listen too in the clear. I also told him that I could hear the cities of Oakley, Wakeeney, Ness City, and Scott City. He said I could not hear Scott City because they are set up just like we are. I then told him that the dispatcher is encrypted, but the deputies are in the clear. Again he wanted to argue, but when I told him I heard the call of the fire at the high-school two weeks ago at 12:30 in the morning. I told him that the deputy put out over the radio "tell the fire department this is the real deal." He said that he would have to look in to that.

In the end the undersheriff thought that any 800 mhz scanner could pick-up their radio traffic now. I told him that almost all radio traffic was going digital and if you didn't have a digital scanner you wouldn't hear anything. I told him that I paid a lot of money for my two digital scanners. Money most people would not spend.

I'm not sure about other jurisdiction, but in ours I don't think that our law enforcement has a clue about their radios. I know what you are going to say, he's just the undersheriff, the sheriff is the one in charge of the radio stuff. Our sheriff hasn't been to work or even out of his house for 60 to 90 days. He was appointed Sheriff after our old Sheriff retired. So he's only been on the job less than 2 years. Claims he is sick but doctors can't find much wrong. The undersheriff is running the department and going to county commissioner meeting giving reports of what is going on.

I just found this interesting and thought I would share.
Kevin
 
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