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darkness975

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I know this is not a new phenomenon but someone posted on Instagram an incident where an NYPD channel was hijacked and the individual was spouting random garbage and taunts. I also know that there is nothing most of us can do about it but it just makes my blood boil to no end. We don't need any more reasons for them to shut us out. :mad:
 

ScubaJungle

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Perfect example of the few that ruin it for the rest..

Even if they went to encryption though - what would be the difference? If someone keyed up on the channel, wouldnt it still mess everything up, even if their radios were encrypted?
 

iMONITOR

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I don't think that would that easy or even possible to do. From what I've been hearing and seeing on the news lately I wouldn't be surprised if it was from within the local government/PD. (No name mentioned as we're not supposed to get political on RR).
 

MTS2000des

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The availability of low cost analog field programmable radios marketed on consumer sites, along with programming data and instructional material from other sites, makes it too easy for domestic terrorists and insurgents to penetrate such venerable systems. I feel for these agencies who's employees are literally fighting for their lives in the streets, have to battle a sea of intentional interference, fake calls, and profanity while trying to work the air.
 

MTS2000des

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Even if they went to encryption though - what would be the difference? If someone keyed up on the channel, wouldnt it still mess everything up, even if their radios were encrypted?
An intentional interference source is an interference source.
Conventional (and trunked) systems are still susceptible to denial of service attacks by a bad actor generating a carrier on the frequencies in use to block the legitimate user. While they could not listen to the traffic, they could still disrupt it. Encryption may protect the content of the voice paths, but it does nothing to protect one from intentional interference/DoS attacks, etc. The payload is secure but the vehicle transporting it isn't.

As someone who is a certified interference mitigation tech (ETA), I imagine as the days and weeks go on, we will be getting called on to go hunt interference. The bad actors and domestic terrorists (what these people are) are not going away, have access to funding and resources, and have proven they will stop at nothing to commence their attacks. All we can do is be better prepared to respond and defend our systems.
 

ScubaJungle

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An intentional interference source is an interference source.
Conventional (and trunked) systems are still susceptible to denial of service attacks by a bad actor generating a carrier on the frequencies in use to block the legitimate user. While they could not listen to the traffic, they could still disrupt it.

As someone who is a certified interference mitigation tech (ETA), I imagine as the days and weeks go on, we will be getting called on to go hunt interference. The bad actors and domestic terrorists (what these people are) are not going away, have access to funding and resources, and have proven they will stop at nothing to commence their attacks. All we can do is be better prepared to respond and defend our systems.
Thanks for clearing it up. Good luck, hopefully you find some of these ....! How do you become an ETA, do you already have to be in the field?
 

MTS2000des

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Thanks for clearing it up. Good luck, hopefully you find some of these ....! How do you become an ETA, do you already have to be in the field?
The training is offered by ETA to anyone who wants to pay the fees. I got cert'ed in 2017 at IWCE. My agency paid for it, IIRC it was around $1500. The class was 3 days but really was about 2 weeks of material. The two instructors are worldwide SMEs and literally written dozens of white papers on the subject. It was VERY informative.

FWIW, the scannist can be a resource in finding interference. When these situations occur, it's easy to program the uplink (inputs) to repeater channels into your scanners and listen during times when the jammer(s) are keying up. If you hear them strongly, and they are most likely in your vicinity. Nothing like a good old fashioned fox hunt, but always, relay the information to those authorized to approach.

This would be a GREAT way to demonstrate value as an ally to public safety in times like this. But please, I encourage all NOT to show up on scenes or anywhere. Just gather the info and turn it over to those who can act on it.
 

ScubaJungle

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Very interesting, Im always looking for things of interest to add to my arsenal (about to get my bachelor's degree as well). Thanks for the information.
 

Dispatrick

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As a dispatcher, listening to that live made my blood boil. I had it happen once with a prior agency I worked for. Someone was jamming our police frequency while the officers were searching a building in the middle of the night that was found with an open door. LONG key ups and occasional noises. Made me very worried it was intentional and someone may be waiting to ambush the officers. Luckily just bad timing. This wasn't their first time keying up and making noises, so the next day I drove around the town with the input frequency to the pd channel on my scanner hoping to catch where he/she may be transmitting from and triangulate it and pass it on to a friend who works for a certain federal agency to look into . Unfortunately never heard the jammer again.
 
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bb911

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One of the worst cases that I've ever heard of: May 2010, "Authorities arrested a 29-year-old San Jacinto [CA] woman who investigators said interrupted police and fire radio communications and made threats over the air during a two-day period, said Hemet police Lt. Mark Richards in a news release... Levy, who is an Amateur Radio technician, was randomly broadcasting on Cal Fire and Hemet Police radio frequencies from Saturday evening until moments before she was arrested at her residence. In the 30 hours of radio frequency interruptions by Levy, she made at least one bomb threat and many references to the death of police officers and fire personnel, Richards said. Levy’s threats and antics interrupted radio communications during a Cal Fire search and rescue call, a vegetation fire, and a major traffic accident mutual aid scene in Hemet on Saturday evening, Richards said. "

Her husband is also a licensed ham and was/is a very respected scanner buff that had a good freq. list online. As I recall, he had no no knowledge of his wife's antics and that she suffers from a neuropsychiatric disorder and is remorseful. Also, I wouldn't doubt if they are both members of RR.


 

n1das

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I heard some of this on NYPD Citywide-1 over the weekend while listening online. Lots of MDC1200 kerchunks, mostly muted by the Data Operated Squelch (DOS) on the system. Lots of open mics too. During the busiest of times it was hard to hear officers at all while they were screaming for additional units and/or in the middle of a foot pursuit. Officer safety was definitely put at risk. Makes my blood boil.
 

Chronic

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The availability of low cost analog field programmable radios marketed on consumer sites, along with programming data and instructional material from other sites, makes it too easy for domestic terrorists and insurgents to penetrate such venerable systems. I feel for these agencies who's employees are literally fighting for their lives in the streets, have to battle a sea of intentional interference, fake calls, and profanity while trying to work the air.
Thats not the whole problem , just about any modern 2 meter ham rig can transmit on most vhf/uhf buy cliping the green wire or sniping the diode, the information is widely available with a simple google search . Its not always the Baofeng .
 

Reconrider

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so the next day I drove around the town with the input frequency to the pd channel on my scanner hoping to catch where he/she may be transmitting from and triangulate it
How do you triangulate it with only a scanner?
 

MTS2000des

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Thats not the whole problem , just about any modern 2 meter ham rig can transmit on most vhf/uhf buy cliping the green wire or sniping the diode, the information is widely available with a simple google search . Its not always the Baofeng .
True, but most people are going to go the cheapest path= CCRs. Ham equipment from reputable manufacturers comes "locked down" requiring one to have skills enough to crack a $100-500 radio open, desolder something, and then go to town.

CCRs sold on Amazon, Ebay, etc are marketed direct to consumers as "walkie-talkies" with wide open VFOs and in some cases, even pre-programmed with part 90 frequencies commonly in use. What is more commonly available to an RF terrorist? A costly and fairly rarer piece of ham gear or a CCR sold by the millions on every consumer electronics E-commerce site that comes WIDE OPEN out of the box...
 

n1das

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It also happened in Chicago CW6 on UHF jamming with music
I heard some of that too. I also heard "....It's a scanner app........yeah...you download it......" as the perp was talking to somebody next to him while PTT was keyed on Chicago CW6.
 

n1das

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CCRs sold on Amazon, Ebay, etc are marketed direct to consumers as "walkie-talkies" with wide open VFOs and in some cases, even pre-programmed with part 90 frequencies commonly in use. What is more commonly available to an RF terrorist? A costly and fairly rarer piece of ham gear or a CCR sold by the millions on every consumer electronics E-commerce site that comes WIDE OPEN out of the box...
THIS! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The most common CCR appears to be the $25 Baofeng UV-5R. The price may have dropped some since I last checked.

I expect to see something in the FCC Daily Digest about this after a while. The FCC is well aware of the CCR problem.

Internal after-incident reviews by police departments across the country will no doubt include discussions about communications failures that occurred, including harmful interference.

I recall Boston PD had a case of open mics and feedback on their UHF conventional channels during the Boston Marathon a few years ago (not the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013). It went on for several hours. Agents from the FCC regional field office in Quincy MA were on it and DF'd it and caught the perp. I recall reading the FCC NAL document about it when it came out a few months later.
 
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MTS2000des

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What concerns me as a radio systems professional is there is already some discussion about the need to encrypt all traffic as the belief is that this will cure the interference problem. We all know that this is irrelevant. Interference doesn't go away because of a modulation scheme, encryption or digital encoding for that matter. Interference is interference. Ask the cellco boys. They spend millions mitigating interference. PIM wasn't even on the radar as a source of interference, but once LTE and now 5G rolled out, it's just as much a threat to cellular as a -75dbM dead carrier is on an NFM analog LMR.

While some schemas are more prone at being affected by on carrier interference than others, it doesn't go away. Identifying it, tracking down the source, and eliminating it is still a process requiring analysis and good old fashioned "boots on the ground" to mitigate it. AES-256 won't stop or slow it down.
 
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