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Radio Security Issues(Encryption Costs?)

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  • NRM_Oz
    replied
    Dangers of Lost Radios

    Years back I was working as relief manager and risk consultant with a major security company. 1 night I was called by the owners and asked to come to their house (uh oh I thought). Seemed some idiot at a site had gone off site with the patrol car for a pizza run and not secured the vehicle will ALL site keys and a portable radio on the passengers seat. Radio was stolen and it shut down the whole network for 2 weeks (cell phones were just becoming popular here). We had 2 weeks of Arabic music 24/7 over the network and it took our Ops Mgr to offer a $200.00 reward to get it back (car radio charger was taken as well). He who drove the car off-site was fired and his partner who covered it up I wanted to fire but lied his way out of it. Mind you it took 2 days to find the missing radio as everyone signed for the gear without sighting it.

    I recall about 20 years ago, washing and gassing cars ALL our patrol verhicles for 12 hours x 1 full weekend as punishment for my partner not reporting his radio missing (left in briefing room and not reported lost for 7 hours to me). As I did not immediately report it I was held accountable so we got the choice - wash the cars or look for a new 2nd job. It was the 2IC who lost his radio but he did not get any special treatment.

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  • Minneapolis Security
    replied
    Originally posted by BadBoynMD View Post
    Do what? Your company is the only company that recieved an RFP/RFQ? You think having encrypted radio's will guarantee the contract to your company? I have to break it to you, but no contract is guaranteed to nobody. You can win and then lose a contract for just about any reason. Going out spending big money, just for contract security is about the silliest thing i've ever heard of. It's pretty simple, do your job, pray your company management does their's and maybe, JUST maybe you will not lose the contract. However, thinking that a radio system will keep competitor's away, or learning of the contract is just silly to me. Just my .02 cents.
    What harm is done by encrypting the radio? I can only see good things from it. Its only a matter of time until all radio traffic is encrypted.

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
    I'd worry less about encryption, and more about agencies switching to P25. Your radio becomes a dedicated computer that translates the voice traffic into a VoIP channel.

    While, if you have a PC and the PC is hooked up to the scanner, you should be able to decode the VoIP traffic on the wire... Still, that turns an inexpensive hobby into a very expensive one.

    And since P25 is a VoIP based system, encryption is trivial: Its already being turned into SIP traffic, which is digital, so why not encrypt the SIP data as its being generated?
    Montreal fire is a P25 system & fortunately is not encrypted.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    I'd worry less about encryption, and more about agencies switching to P25. Your radio becomes a dedicated computer that translates the voice traffic into a VoIP channel.

    While, if you have a PC and the PC is hooked up to the scanner, you should be able to decode the VoIP traffic on the wire... Still, that turns an inexpensive hobby into a very expensive one.

    And since P25 is a VoIP based system, encryption is trivial: Its already being turned into SIP traffic, which is digital, so why not encrypt the SIP data as its being generated?

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by BadBoynMD View Post
    Most police departments don't have encryption on the main channel (dispatch/patrol). Usually the only "secure" channels are for SWAT and narcotics.
    Boy I hope this is true here. Our fire department recently switched to a trunking digital non encrypted system. The police are soon to follow. The fire department system is not encrypted. The police force north of the island of Montreal, Laval, is. Sort of kills the hobby of scanning

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Yeah, this was a few years ago. Nextel basically put a lot of radio companies out of business.

    Leave a comment:


  • MRSE_S3
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
    Hmm, not I'm not sure. I know it was a 800MHz trunking system, we had problems when Nextel bought out all the towers, the firm dumped its 5000 dollar radio system to go to Nextel.

    That's why I'm surprised that there is still a type 1 trunking system still on the air in the US. Nextel bought up all the 800 Mhz. stuff because that is what the Direct Connect runs on.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by MRSE_S3 View Post
    Straight from Motorola they do not. I have never seen it done but Transcrypt may have a board that would plug into the radio. The problem arises when you attempt to talk through the repeater. I know that Motorola repeaters require an encryption board in order to pass the encrypted information to the other users on the system.

    The MTX800 and 810 are obsolete by about 12 years. I think you may be referring to an MT1000. Same radio line but in UHF or VHF. The MTX refers to the 800 Mhz radio line.
    Hmm, not I'm not sure. I know it was a 800MHz trunking system, we had problems when Nextel bought out all the towers, the firm dumped its 5000 dollar radio system to go to Nextel.

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  • ChuckyZ73
    replied
    its called undercutting guys. we provide a superior service however we are at WAR(not just competition) with these guys. They have bid and won contracts for 1 dollar an hour just to get us out of that property. (we lost 2 accounts that way) We are not talking about the normal competition. The owner of this company has serious issues. We are not dealing with a reasonable person they will do ANYTHING to get rid of us. at this point they only know the accounts they have taken (See above). If anyone is interesed here you go.
    http://forums.securityinfowatch.com/...ead.php?t=3607

    Leave a comment:


  • MRSE_S3
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
    Do the MTX 800 and 810s support third party encryption boards? I used to carry an 800, then an MTX1000.
    Straight from Motorola they do not. I have never seen it done but Transcrypt may have a board that would plug into the radio. The problem arises when you attempt to talk through the repeater. I know that Motorola repeaters require an encryption board in order to pass the encrypted information to the other users on the system.

    The MTX800 and 810 are obsolete by about 12 years. I think you may be referring to an MT1000. Same radio line but in UHF or VHF. The MTX refers to the 800 Mhz radio line.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Do the MTX 800 and 810s support third party encryption boards? I used to carry an 800, then an MTX1000.

    Leave a comment:


  • MRSE_S3
    replied
    Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
    Our radios are Motorola MTX Series Handhelds.

    If the competition knows where our accounts are buying gear or having pay raises will be a waste of money because they will steal our accounts. I don't think you understand this.
    As far as police not being encrypted they don't have any competition. So they don't have to worry about somebody stealing their accounts.
    MTX800, 810, or 8000

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  • Badge714
    replied
    Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
    Our radios are Motorola MTX Series Handhelds.

    If the competition knows where our accounts are buying gear or having pay raises will be a waste of money because they will steal our accounts. I don't think you understand this.
    As far as police not being encrypted they don't have any competition. So they don't have to worry about somebody stealing their accounts.
    The competition, if they have their act together, know where your accounts are anyway. Just knowing where they are doesn't mean they can just waltz in and "steal" your business.
    At our Minneapolis office, we have a patrol account we picked up in 1980. I'm sure every company knows we have it as I saw their squads drive by almost every night when I was sitting there doing paperwork. We have another patrol account in Minneapolis that we've had since before I started with the company in 1978! That account has changed ownership 4 times that I know of, and our service has been continuous.
    So how do you keep an account for 30+ years? By providing superior service. You can have the fanciest cars with the latest led light bars, cages, black BDU SWAT-type uniforms and encrypted trunking radio systems. Your client could care less about these things. He only wants to sleep at night knowing his property is secure. If you provide excellent service, the client is less likely to switch to those other guys to save a fifty cents a hit.

    Leave a comment:


  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    This was pretty common in Florida, "ZOMG THEY'LL FIND OUT WHERE OUR CONTRACTS ARE!" The thing is, most of your contracts share who their provider is at business association meetings and luncheons. And your competition is probably going to those, as well.

    Another thing to remember is that some competitors have forms that new hires fill out that asks where the sites of their last company were.

    Security through obscurity... isn't.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadBoynMD
    replied
    Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
    Our radios are Motorola MTX Series Handhelds.

    If the competition knows where our accounts are buying gear or having pay raises will be a waste of money because they will steal our accounts. I don't think you understand this.
    As far as police not being encrypted they don't have any competition. So they don't have to worry about somebody stealing their accounts.
    Do what? Your company is the only company that recieved an RFP/RFQ? You think having encrypted radio's will guarantee the contract to your company? I have to break it to you, but no contract is guaranteed to nobody. You can win and then lose a contract for just about any reason. Going out spending big money, just for contract security is about the silliest thing i've ever heard of. It's pretty simple, do your job, pray your company management does their's and maybe, JUST maybe you will not lose the contract. However, thinking that a radio system will keep competitor's away, or learning of the contract is just silly to me. Just my .02 cents.

    Leave a comment:

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