• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Unencrypting RCMP digital P25 signals

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VA7JH

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The Campbell River RCMP has now switched to digital P25 encrypted radio communications. I have access to a Uniden BCD396XT scanner. I know the NAC is 430, because that's what it says when I have the radio scan for it. When I enter the NAC, nothing changes (It sounds like a burst of audio). Will this scanner "unencrypt" these signals? How do I do it?
 

PJH

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Um, no. Kinda the whole point of encryption.
 

kayn1n32008

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No, if the repeater was a conventional P25, with out encryption it would. You can forget about decrypting it as they era probably using AES256.
 

Jay911

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The concept of encryption (in the radio sense) is to prevent unauthorized listeners from hearing the conversation. The RCMP in BC have decided that the public doesn't need to hear their day-to-day comms and has thus encrypted them.

The only way to decrypt an encrypted signal is to have the software (or hardware, in some cases) key, and a compatible radio - a scanner isn't going to do it. And you are not going to get that key unless you're with the RCMP, unfortunately.

Mathematically, it might be possible to "crack" the encryption code using a bank of extremely powerful computers, but it is neither legal nor feasible in a timely fashion (I forget what kind of timeline it is to decode the "standard" encryption used these days, but it's on the order of weeks, supposedly - no one has ever publicly provided proof of being able to break it). Furthermore, if one code gets cracked, all they will do is change the encryption key - and in most modern systems, you can do that just by transmitting a data burst (called Over The Air Rekeying).

The sad result is: Your RCMP detachment is no longer able to be listened to, period.
 

Hemi204

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Winnipeg just went full encryption for basic dispatch too on a 56bit cypher "laughs" ...we'll get the RCMP for a few more years since MTS is behind the times on a real APCO-25.
 

Gator596

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VA7JH - your model of scanner automatically detects and decodes the NAC. You do not have to enter it. Unfortunately it is not so easy (as others have stated - it is not yet possible) to decode the encryption. Just to be clear; NACs and encryption are two different things. The RCMP in your area use both.
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

If you would like to have some idea of what it takes to break one key, check out the RC5 encryption challenge info on:
www.distributed.net
 
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