Los Zetas Using Sophisticated Two-Way Radio System

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PACNWDude

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Everyone is jumping onto the MotoTrbo wagon.

I saw this as well and read the original files that this article was taking information from. (Was working for the Feds at the time.) It is amazing what you can do with enough time and money and some talent. This is also more proof that Motorola is doing the right thing with their TRBO line of gear. Cheap, effective, well made and has encryption built in.
I now work on vessels at sea and shore stations and have seen many private companies go to this radio series.
The picture in the magazine article shows the XPR6550 handhelds, a base station and some repeater gear. Very nice set up and would serve well in the private business sector for legitimate use as well.
 

ff-medic

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Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies | Popular Science

Unlike cell phones, which are expensive, traceable, and easily tapped, radio equipment is cheap, easy to set up, and more secure.
Nice to know that the FBI or the DEA cannot listen in.


He also hijacked radio repeaters—devices that receive and boost radio signals—from companies like Nextel and reprogrammed the equipment to use the cartel’s preselected, low-volume frequencies.
Uh-huh. :roll:


Expanding into more remote areas, like the jungle in southern Veracruz state, was more technically challenging: Towers had to be built atop high vantage points—a volcano’s summit, for example—to ensure surrounding hills or other natural obstacles didn’t block transmissions.
:roll: along with solar powered cells to power those repeaters on top of those "Remote" mountains in...of all places.....South America. No so expensive radios - Motorola Trbos.....that can be monitored. Nice to know that those "anonymous" towers did not stand out, and could not be marked for destruction by Military / Anti-Drug units.


Cartel-deployed aerial drones and sophisticated data-mining software that tracks law-enforcement patterns and predicts ideal smuggling schedules and routes may not be far off. Such a nightmare scenario, if realized, will have started with humble beginnings: an anonymous shop owner armed with only a radio.
And aerial drones are not vulnerable? Drug drone goes up, and Mexico and the U.S. lets it happen?

Hmmmmmm?


FF - Medic !!!
 
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pinballwiz86

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PACNWDude

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I never read the radio types in the article, they were not given. I am going off of the pictures and what I could identify as XPR6550 handheld MotoTrbo radios with some other Motorola XTS/XTL radios mixed in.
 

Ensnared

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I started reading this fascinating article in disbelief. Although I already thought of the Cartels using a sophisticated communication network, I never dreamed it would be this detailed.

Of course, if America decided to legalize cannabis for all 50 states, the Cartels might make less profit, but they would likely find some other vice to exploit.

Human ingenuity at work.
 

balibago

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Break the crypt free the prople

More proof positive that encryption is being used for either criminal purposes or to infringe on us monitors: fun; most Mexicans can't afford a digital scanner much less the computers and software to break this encryption. Had the Nazis been around today they would have hearded the Jews onto the trains while carrying Motorola digital handhelds.
 

chrismol1

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With a virtually unlimited supply of money and a most valuable product combined with modern technology, one must use their imagination. I would not doubt they have a larger more advanced system than the country government itself. Theres no stopping it.
Their business depends on it
 

VE6BRW

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WOW absolutely amazing, someone had done their homework and must have a business degree to be able to put together and propose all of that not to mention excellent sales skills to be able to sell such a system to high levels. and hey why not business is business what works for governments can also work for others..... technology has no boundaries, laws that are made by government only apply to law abiding citizens such as encryption, only the law abiding citizens cannot listen any more so they're all free to hide and go forth........
 

ff-medic

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Although I already thought of the Cartels using a sophisticated communication network, I never dreamed it would be this detailed.
Neither did I.


thought of the Cartels using a sophisticated communication network
Yep. It is called "Couriers". No way for Law Enforcement to intercept their messages.

Of course, if America decided to legalize cannabis
Never gonna happen.


FF - Medic !!!
 

ff-medic

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More proof positive that encryption is being used for either criminal purposes or to infringe on us monitors: fun; most Mexicans can't afford a digital scanner much less the computers and software to break this encryption. Had the Nazis been around today they would have hearded the Jews onto the trains while carrying Motorola digital handhelds.

Encrypted comms ( cell phone ) was used to track down Pablo Escobar by the United States Military. Documented in newspapers - books and Television Documentaries.

Intelligence Support Activity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Cell phone communications ( encrypted ) caused U.S. Navy Intelligence ( aboard a submarine ) to interept a phone call, with the high suspicions of the voice on the phone being Saddam Hussein. A Tomahawk missle was eventually launched to where the cell phone was broadcasting from....a stadium ; only to find out later.....it was not Saddam.


I am sure Trbo and NEXEDGE is a more hardened and difficult encryption protocol, and cannot be intercepted by a Government or Military. :roll:


FF - Medic !!!
 

com501

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The cartels are using LA trbo radios, IPSC multiple fluid networks and enhanced encryption. Multiple talkgroups, each with its own separate encryption key, using the same networks.

Small isolated groups, so when radios are compromised, the entire network is not compromised. Repeaters are removed, destroyed and tracked down all the time by the military, but new ones spring up almost at once. Wireless and LTE is being used for backbone. There is a huge market in Latin America for LA market trbo. Some groups are even using dispatch software sold by large commercial providers who shall remain nameless.

The encryption is easily broken, it is not that secure. However, the cartels have managed to circumvent that by keeping the user pool with any one code very small, and changing codes on an almost daily basis. The Mexican Government has enlisted the help of foreign intelligent services for analytical support, as they just don't have the equipment or skillsets, but the government is so corrupt, not many foreign operatives are willing to share much with them. Until they can manage to discourage the drug cartels from infiltrating their ranks in Government, the results will be far less than optimal.

Right now, its just luck.
 

Ensnared

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Cannabis Legalization

Neither did I.




Yep. It is called "Couriers". No way for Law Enforcement to intercept their messages.



Never gonna happen.


FF - Medic !!!
I disagree. It is only a matter of time. "This bud's for you."
 

EJB

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Neither did I.




Yep. It is called "Couriers". No way for Law Enforcement to intercept their messages.



Never gonna happen.


FF - Medic !!!

It will happen, maybe not in our lifetime but slowly it will be either decriminalized or managed via fines.

It would be a cash crop, a money maker, game changer if anyone had the guts in govt to admit defeat.
 

ff-medic

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I disagree. It is only a matter of time. "This bud's for you."
Legalization of marijuana will mean no control over whom will have access to it....like teens and children. Underage drinking and alcohol poisoning happens a lot. Imagine the legalization of marijuana, the other numerous associated problems. This don't include the "young" who will obtain marijuana by theft...or other illegal means.

It is one thing.....in my belief to have underage people drink, it is another to let them have access to marijuana.
When I was in high schools, underage drinking occurred, but it never got out of hand, and there was never an incident where an ambulance had to be called. I guess as future generations happen to make their way up the seniority ladder of society......they are less careful. Underage drinking when I grew up, but people enjoyed the party and either crashed at the party location, or crawled in their tent and went to sleep.

I lost one classmates my sophomore or junior year to D.W.I - her brother was at fault, but he was over eighteen, and knew better. As I recall, he was driving, and he survived. His sister in the passenger side seat ( my classmate ) was pronounced dead on scene. She happened to be one heck of a ball player.

Legalization of Marijuana is not the answer. Although it is not as potent as other drugs, it still creates and mass produces problems.

And although marijuana is a problem...it is not the "big" concern that it was in the 80's and early 90's. PCP - Heroin - Cocaine - Meth....and a host of others catches the eye of Law Enforcement now. Local and Federal Law Enforcement have bigger drug problems than "Weed". Legalizing marijuana would create a larger headache that is not needed for citizens and police.


FF - Medic !!!
 
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ff-medic

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It will happen, maybe not in our lifetime but slowly it will be either decriminalized or managed via fines.

It would be a cash crop, a money maker, game changer if anyone had the guts in govt to admit defeat.
That is why jurisdictions all over the country are banning "K2" and other synthetic marijuana

Synthetic cannabis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


FF - Medic !!!
 

Ensnared

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"If I Don't Do it, You Know Somebody Else Will"

Legalization of marijuana will mean no control over whom will have access to it....like teens and children. Underage drinking and alcohol poisoning happens a lot. Imagine the legalization of marijuana, the other numerous associated problems. This don't include the "young" who will obtain marijuana by theft...or other illegal means.

It is one thing.....in my belief to have underage people drink, it is another to let them have access to marijuana.
When I was in high schools, underage drinking occurred, but it never got out of hand, and there was never an incident where an ambulance had to be called. I guess as future generations happen to make their way up the seniority ladder of society......they are less careful. Underage drinking when I grew up, but people enjoyed the party and either crashed at the party location, or crawled in their tent and went to sleep.

I lost one classmates my sophomore or junior year to D.W.I - her brother was at fault, but he was over eighteen, and knew better. As I recall, he was driving, and he survived. His sister in the passenger side seat ( my classmate ) was pronounced dead on scene. She happened to be one heck of a ball player.

Legalization of Marijuana is not the answer. Although it is not as potent as other drugs, it still creates and mass produces problems.

And although marijuana is a problem...it is not the "big" concern that it was in the 80's and early 90's. PCP - Heroin - Cocaine - Meth....and a host of others catches the eye of Law Enforcement now. Local and Federal Law Enforcement have bigger drug problems than "Weed". Legalizing marijuana would create a larger headache that is not needed for citizens and police.


FF - Medic !!!
In my opinion, there is a significant difference between a child being allowed to smoke cannabis and drink alcohol. The latter is a physically-addicting substance. Both, are highly inappropriate for the underdeveloped brain.

There are many myths surrounding cannabis, particularly the one about it being a gateway drug for harder drugs. There is no "necessary" or "sufficient" condition compelling someone to ingest harder drugs.

But, you would find it hard to convince people of the facts. I cannot tell you how many individuals in the medical & law enforcement community believe in the urban myth of there being any functional relationship between the cycles of the moon & mayhem. The facts do not back up this contention. Moonacy - CSI

In the absence of legalized cannabis, we can only speculate what may or may not happen. Now, we have two states that have legalized cannabis for further study. It will take many years to gauge the impact of cannabis on society should it become legal in many or all states.

In the mean time, Cartels step in with unethical business practices, something not dissimilar with the movers & shakers on Wall Street.

Truthfully, I don't see any difference in the Cartels & Wall Street. Both business practices are not kind toward the human condition. Like you suggested, I would prefer LE to address other problems in our society. Drug addiction and/or alcoholism should rest on a medical decision by an adult, not the government.

So, until legalization occurs, I suppose America will have to deal with those who favor profit over social consciousness, the Cartels. Drugs are here to stay.

Most advocates for legalization are totally against children obtaining access. This becomes a parenting & community issue.
 
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RayAir

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I would think they would be using some encryption standard higher than MotoTRBO's built in 40 bit encryption.

Can MotoTRBO radio encryption be upgraded to DES or AES?
 

com501

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I would think they would be using some encryption standard higher than MotoTRBO's built in 40 bit encryption.

Can MotoTRBO radio encryption be upgraded to DES or AES?
To AES, apparently everywhere except the United States and Canada.
 
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