Encryption on Ebay

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IMPRES2

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Two words that don't belong together, encryption & Ebay.
Just like most hobbyist on this site, I frequently look through the listings on Ebay to see if there are any new deals worth going after. Over the past three weeks I have found numerous APX and XTS radios for sale by local surplus companies. Being the hands on person I am I go and look at the units in person and try to gauge if they are a good find.

Today I stumbled across a lot of XTS5000 model II radios that are still programmed, most of the radios in the lot had dead batteries, but each radio that powered up gave me an OOR tone and up on top of the channel was the famed Ø encryption symbol.

Talk about a security lapse.
 

N4KVE

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I recently purchased 2 different XTL mobile radios from 2 different sellers on E-Bay. Both radios were owned by Gov't entities. One radio had everything removed, so it just had 1 default freq, & the ch display said zone 1, ch1. The second radio was completely loaded with freq's, & encryption codes. Nothing was removed. Neither seller knew anything about radios, & purchased them at Gov't surplus sales. Of course now both radios are loaded with ham freq's. Nothing new here.
 

mmckenna

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I try to get all radios going to surplus, e-waste, or anywhere else into my shop for flushing. It's difficult to get my end users to understand why it's important. Even our PD has issues understanding this.

On the other hand, some of these radios may be lost/stolen.

On possibility may be that these radios are from systems that have been shut down.
 

allend

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Sometimes you have to be careful on what you buy. Alot of these radios are coming from the US military and have encryption boards and ASK on the radios. Unless you have a way of clearing the ASK then the radio is pretty much a brick unless you have the SPECIAL tools and software to clean the radio up.

But overall the radios are usually in pretty good shape. Those XTS 5000 radios are still the work horse radio from Motorola. There is so much surplus right now since grant money is being funded to upgrade old systems and departments are upgrading to the APX line of radios.
 

prcguy

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The only commercial Motorola radios with encryption that are a problem to own or sell is Type 1 "Fascinator" encryption, anything else like DVP, DES, AES is a non issue and its not a problem to buy one that is keyloaded. If the last user did not nuke the keys and/or update their current radios with new keys after some radios were sold its their problem.

Motorola military radios (Govt systems group) and other brands that have Type 1 encryption will usually have a "CCI" sticker on it that indicates it is a "Controlled Cryptographic Item" which should never make it to civilians hands.
prcguy
 

PACNWDude

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I once bought a Motorola MW520 mobile data terminal off of eBay, that still had its hard drive intact. The power connection had been snapped off, and it was sold for parts. Well the entire hard drive was filled with police reports and other software for the police department that had used it prior to being sold as surplus. They laughed when I contacted them and said this should have been re-formatted before sale.

Now if I buy a radio or computer with anything on it, I just keep it to myself. Nobody seems to understand or care.
 

W4KRR

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Is there a procedure for erasing or wiping a codeplug from a radio that doesn't involve writing another codeplug?
 

N4KVE

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Is there a procedure for erasing or wiping a codeplug from a radio that doesn't involve writing another codeplug?
You can either delete all the info, one step at a time, which could take forever on a pile of radios, or write a codeplug with only 1 default freq, & blow that in all the radios. Much quicker.
 

ElroyJetson

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DO NOT ASK ME FOR HELP PROGRAMMING YOUR RADIO. NO.
A lot of radios that get surplussed out in "operational" condition, still programmed and maybe with keys still in them, are from systems that have been changed so much that those radios wouldn't work in the system anymore anyway.

I have some radios like that. The system they were part of has changed so much that the radios can't hear the system and can't talk into the system and none of the data is valid anymore. So don't sweat it.
 

TDR-94

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I had a couple Thales 25 radios that were bought for parts that had Federal agency channels in them with old DES keys.None of those agencies would be using DES these days.
 

kb4cvn

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A lot of radios that get surplussed out in "operational" condition, still programmed and maybe with keys still in them, are from systems that have been changed so much that those radios wouldn't work in the system anymore anyway.

I have some radios like that. The system they were part of has changed so much that the radios can't hear the system and can't talk into the system and none of the data is valid anymore. So don't sweat it.
It is almost scary what get surplused out and what is still contained in the equipment.

Buddy of mine in the NW just purchased a dozen surplus (vhf-highband) XTS5000's, all looked new. Had a 'alphabet' USGOV agency's property asset tag on them. All were still programmed (on their current and active frequencies!) and had at least two 'live' crypto keys in them. He sent me the codeplugs to look at.
 
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IMPRES2

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i thought theoretically the encryption keys would disappear if no battery
It's a setting called Infinite Key Retention. You can select this checkbox and it will retain the keys until you wipe them from the radio using.
If infinite key Retention isn't checked then loss of power for more than 30 seconds normally does you in.
 

Rred

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In the 60's a friend of mine was overjoyed to get his first rig for ham radio. It was a government surplus rig bought on Radio Row, one of the top-tier radios that he could never afford new. When he got it home he opened it up to check it out and clean it up and saw all this "cord" rigged around the chassis and assemblies.

Primer cord. Still complete with primers.

Back it went, very very gently, for a full refund the same day.

"OOpsie."
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I once bought a Motorola MW520 mobile data terminal off of eBay, that still had its hard drive intact. The power connection had been snapped off, and it was sold for parts. Well the entire hard drive was filled with police reports and other software for the police department that had used it prior to being sold as surplus. They laughed when I contacted them and said this should have been re-formatted before sale.

Now if I buy a radio or computer with anything on it, I just keep it to myself. Nobody seems to understand or care.
Probably best policy these days.If you call the local 911 center, DHS and FBI are likely to get involved and before long you will have a SWAT team busting in your door.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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In the 60's a friend of mine was overjoyed to get his first rig for ham radio. It was a government surplus rig bought on Radio Row, one of the top-tier radios that he could never afford new. When he got it home he opened it up to check it out and clean it up and saw all this "cord" rigged around the chassis and assemblies.

Primer cord. Still complete with primers.

Back it went, very very gently, for a full refund the same day.

"OOpsie."
Jeez, I wonder if there was a secret switch combination. I hope the seller didn't just put it up for sale again.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Is there a procedure for erasing or wiping a codeplug from a radio that doesn't involve writing another codeplug?
On ebay recently I saw someone selling SPECTRA radios with holes drilled into the cover above the command board. I passed on that deal.
 
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