Wayne Co, PA: Imposter 911 call raises questions about safeguarding radio system

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mark40

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vest2208

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Many off-the-shelf analog two-way radios, in knowledgeable hands, can be programmed with the emergency frequencies, said Fred Rosencrans, Luzerne County 911 director.
This is what happens when you have $30 radios, capable of front panel programming available to the general public that operate on public safety bands.
 
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Its NOT the issue of low cost HT's..Would it be OK if the offender used a high end radio?

Same argument can be made for firearms,knives,baseball bats,lead pipes,Pizza Cutters,2X4X8 studs....
A poor drunk that gets a car for a 100 dollars,Is it the cheap car that causes the drunk to plow into a family of 5 on the highway?

Lets stop making the tools responsible instead of the criminals that
chose to not only key up,but also interfere with PS communications.
 

SCPD

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I have to point out the obvious:

1. Scanners don't transmit.
2. The imposter could be a disgruntled (and hopefully soon to be ex-) employee with access to agency equipment.

The suggestion by the Motorola spokesman in the closing part of the article won't fix problem #2.
 

teufler

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The article said she lives 5 miles from the hospital and she waited for over 1 hour for assistance. Was the ambulance crew lost. Was it more important to check on the imposter rather than the lady needing assistance. Beside transmitter id's maybe they need gps too.
 

phillydjdan

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Agreed, Horseman. My $500 digital radio can transmit on just about any system and/or frequency in that band if I programmed it to do so and wanted to do so. It's not always the "cheap" radios. About 10 years ago there was a group of "fire buffs" in the Philly area that carried several expensive radios capable of talking on just about any frequency. Some even had trunking systems in thier radios that they weren't really supposed to have.

I personnally have 2 trunking portables programmed for passive monitoring, as well as numerous analog radios that can transmit just about anywhere. You know what frequencies are actually transmit enabled? FRS and MURS lol. Bottom line, stop blaming the radio and put the blame were it belongs... with the moron that thinks its a good idea to transmit were they dont belong!
 

car55

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This is what happens when you have $30 radios, capable of front panel programming available to the general public that operate on public safety bands.
What happen to only the radios program for the system can transmit.Why did the dispatcher get no radio ID.

If you are medic 12 talking to dispatch than medic 12 ID should show up on the dispatch console.
 

car55

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Agreed, Horseman. My $500 digital radio can transmit on just about any system and/or frequency in that band if I programmed it to do so and wanted to do so. It's not always the "cheap" radios. About 10 years ago there was a group of "fire buffs" in the Philly area that carried several expensive radios capable of talking on just about any frequency. Some even had trunking systems in thier radios that they weren't really supposed to have.

I personnally have 2 trunking portables programmed for passive monitoring, as well as numerous analog radios that can transmit just about anywhere. You know what frequencies are actually transmit enabled? FRS and MURS lol. Bottom line, stop blaming the radio and put the blame were it belongs... with the moron that thinks its a good idea to transmit were they dont belong!

If you are running a police department of 1,000 officers and that say only 500 radios than that 1 radio making it 501 is not program for the system. Why does it have access? I read all kinds posts that dispatchers can tell what radios that ID is for or disable the radio.

If you are unit 1 adam 12 to control than 1 adam 12 should show up on the dispatch console.
 

kayn1n32008

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Imposter responding to 911 call raises questions about safeguarding radio system

What happen to only the radios program for the system can transmit.Why did the dispatcher get no radio ID.

If you are medic 12 talking to dispatch than medic 12 ID should show up on the dispatch console.

Simple. If it is a plain old analogue,conventional radio system that has zero PTT signalling. Believe it or not lots of places still use it. In that case any altogether radio, of the appropriate band, can access the system.




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kayn1n32008

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Imposter responding to 911 call raises questions about safeguarding radio system

If you are running a police department of 1,000 officers and that say only 500 radios than that 1 radio making it 501 is not program for the system. Why does it have access? I read all kinds posts that dispatchers can tell what radios that ID is for or disable the radio.

If you are unit 1 adam 12 to control than 1 adam 12 should show up on the dispatch console.

With sites like RR publishing all the info needed to program a radio, there is very little stopping someone motivated, from accessing a given network.


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car55

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Simple. If it is a plain old analogue,conventional radio system that has zero PTT signalling. Believe it or not lots of places still use it. In that case any altogether radio, of the appropriate band, can access the system.




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Can they still not add security to old system like that or does it have to be trunk radio system?

Are you telling me that none trunk radio system do not show radio ID?
 
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902

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With sites like RR publishing all the info needed to program a radio, there is very little stopping someone motivated, from accessing a given network.
Except for one thing: personal inhibition. It's this inhibition that keeps most people from performing criminal acts or doing things they will later regret, even though they are capable. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

We seem to have moved away from life's little lessons these days. For every action there is a consequence. It's Newton's third law, and it applies in a sociological sense, too. This is not a matter of convenient access to equipment, it's people not being taught the difference between right and wrong - and expecting something to happen to them when they cross a line.

For the closing statement in the article, technology still won't stop spoofing if someone were deranged enough to do so.
 

phillydjdan

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The channel in question here is an analog conventional one. It is not a trunking system, and likely they do not have MDC or other types of signalling on the channel (which is still very common). Any analog radio can key up, and if its the cheap chinese radios, they won't have MDC signalling anyway. However, keep in mind, any radio can be programmed to use no signalling on conventional channels. My XTS portable has MDC, but it does not transmit one on the FRS channels because I did not program it to do so.

As for trunking systems, they can be hacked very easily. The newer scanners display radio IDs, just clone that ID #. Sure it isnt safe and can endanger the lives of responders, but it can be done (and has been done in the past). I could do it on my XTS portables and transmit on any trunked system I want. The dispatcher would think I was the authorized user. As systems have become more sophisticated, access to software and information posted on the internet make it very simple. How do you think I did it? Lol
 

ffmedjoe

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Go figure, the big E was mentioned as a "solution".
They forget about the "little" departments when they start shoving the big E down peoples throats. S/P 911 you could get grants for just about anything and we upgraded to 800 trunking. Now they want to change to P25 trunking. Our department is small, we have a 25k operating budget for fire and 5k for ems. Most FR and officers buy there own radios. We have 1 engine 3 tankers 1 rescue and an ambulance, plus 15 hh. quick math thats over 40k in radios! Where exactly do they expect depts. to come up with the money.
 

QDP2012

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One place to start might be to ask the owner/administrator of your local trunked radio system (TRS) which grants they requested and received. If you have a provable need to use the TRS system, then as an equipment-user/assignee you might be eligible to receive equipment under the TRS owner's/administrator's grant(s) or you could apply for a similar grant for your department.

Hope this helps,
 
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