Encryption question

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Rbp1414

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In the RR database, I see a lot of encrypted talkgroups listed, including descriptions of what they are (e.g. CIA security, etc.). How does anyone know what they are if they are full time encrypted and there is no opportunity to identify the type of traffic it contains? Thanks.
 

elk2370bruce

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In the RR database, I see a lot of encrypted talkgroups listed, including descriptions of what they are (e.g. CIA security, etc.). How does anyone know what they are if they are full time encrypted and there is no opportunity to identify the type of traffic it contains? Thanks.
All radio networks are licensed either by NAC or FCC. License information gives (or alludes) to a partial answer to your querstion.
 

elk2370bruce

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In the RR database, I see a lot of encrypted talkgroups listed, including descriptions of what they are (e.g. CIA security, etc.). How does anyone know what they are if they are full time encrypted and there is no opportunity to identify the type of traffic it contains? Thanks.
All radio networks are licensed either by NAC or FCC. License information gives (or alludes) to a partial answer to your querstion. If you had obtained all of the information, there would be a bnlack SUV pulling into your driveway.
 

Rbp1414

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Thanks. So FCC and NAC licenses layout the talkgroups in a system? Do system operators have to get a new license for each talkgroup, or modify the "master license" to add the new talkgroup? Seems like if that were the case discovery mode in current trunking scanners would not be of much value - everyone can just check the FCC website for new additions (including a description)...
 

GM

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One way to find out what a particular talkgroup is when it's listed as encrypted is if someone reads a radio with the proper software and then matches up what's listed in the radio to what's listed in the database. Or, if someone runs a computer program such as unitrunker or pro96com, you can go through the talkgroups and try to match up what appears on the screen/program. There are other ways, but this would give you a idea of how others obtain this info. Normally, one key factor would be to have a close friend or two with access to a radio to provide this info to you.
 

br0adband

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I would say it's either a lot of detective work on the side of scanner enthusiasts or someone with intimate knowledge of a given system leaks the info, i.e. a radio tech that actually works on a given system itself, or someone familiar with the units being used on the system. Sometimes you may just get lucky and be in the presence of someone using such a unit to transmit or receive a signal and you get a glance at the display and read off the label assigned to the talkgroup(s), who knows.

More often than not I'd say it's someone intimate with a given system that leaks the info to someone else, or shares it anonymously, etc.
 

Cameron314

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Not sure what the "NAC" is but no, the FCC does not list or care about talkgroups. System operators can add, delete or change the use of a talkgroup without changing their licence.
 

SCPD

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The NAC is national access code. Such as a pl dpl in analog a nac is a muting tone for example. Typically federal agencies stay within a specific nac. 293 is a default nac allot of smaller public safety agencies use since 293 is the interop nac for digital rx/tx. F7E is the digital equivalent to analog rx csq. One running a scanner or program to decode the nac would yield a who most likely uses and those with the know who gave the info or there is times before a entity goes encrypted it is in clear and clues are given to whom it is using the freq. as said before insiders giving info or techs or someone havin a friend in a agency showing his radio off. Many cases encryption is not programmed strapped to a Chanel and button or knob gets turned by accident or to use another's freq that they probably would interop with whom does not utilize there encoded key. Radio Users forget. Why many admins permentantly strap enc to specific channels so accidental unstraping a enc defined Chanel doesn't happen. But many still use a button or the knob to encode and sometimes buttons get pressed. Has happened to me in past sitting in a vehicle or the radio getting bumped on side and other model knob rubbing on somethin and turning to non strap clear.
 

mikewazowski

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All radio networks are licensed either by NAC or FCC. License information gives (or alludes) to a partial answer to your querstion.

NAC? Do you possibly mean NTIA?

The NAC is national access code.

No, NAC is Network Access Code.

However, if you read the second response, you'll see the poster has said that NAC is an agency similar to the FCC that licences frequencies.

While your explanation of NAC is correct, it's not the NAC they're referring to.
 

dw2872

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Detective work (analysis) is the best way.

I've heard new and unknown talk groups in encrypted mode and wanted to know what it was. By using Pro96Com and/or UniTrunker to collect the control channel data, you can find out which radio IDs are using that unknown TG. Then find the other channels they use and it gives you an idea of what it is used for. To be sure, listen to the other related TGs, then when you hear them say, "Switch to Bla bla TG" and you hear (or see on your scanner or other equipment) there is traffic on that encrypted channel, then you know what the TG is called and used for. To be absolutely sure, when you hear them say to switch to another TG and then you see on your Pro96Com or UniTruncker data that they did switch to the encrypted TG then you have it.

Archiving the audio for the known un-encrypted TGs (using ProScan) and control channel data (using Pro96Com or Unitruncker) for the unknown encrypted TGs, you will find the info.

I've done this on a lot of unknown TGs. I've even heard them say to switch to specific TGs and they mentioned "so we can have encryption."
 
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cherubim

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Encrypted talkgroups sometimes revert to clear mode for various reasons (eg. key mismatch, low SNR, failed OTAR etc). When this happens it's often easy to work out what type of traffic is associated with that particular talkgroup.
 
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