News on stolen Australian Law Enforcement Secure Radios

David G. Koontz david_koontz at
Sun Sep 2 20:28:23 EDT 2007,23599,22345160-2,00.html

APEC security arrangements have been thrown into disarray with the theft of
  digitally encrypted police radios and a bullet-proof vest.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that statewide memos have been issued to police
working during the APEC weekend to advise against using special frequencies
that can be picked up by the missing radios.

The loss of the vital pieces of equipment poses a major headache for NSW
Police, who are under extreme pressure from both the State and Federal
governments to ensure there are no security breaches over the APEC weekend.


What no Over The Air Re-keying for net exclusion, or perhaps the radios
aren't unique?  It's my  understanding that the Project 25 stuff used in the
U.S. wouldn't be similarly vulnerable on two counts:  OTAR with remote key
management and role based security.

more in the Australian news article:

Worth around $5000 each, the digital encryption system radios cannot be
picked up by regular scanners.

The NSW Government has spent an estimated $18 million in the past three
years to convert the old police radio network to a digital system.

The source said it was understood several digital radios had also been
stolen from NSW Fire Brigade stations in the inner west in recent weeks.


I'd imagine if they are actually vulnerable as a result of the radio
thefts, they've bought the wrong equipment, or at least certainly paid too much.

Note the contrast with the Olympics:
Radio theft 'doesn't compromise' Games security

Posted Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:54pm AEST

Thieves have stolen six communication radios used by Olympic Games
organisers but police say the state-of-the-art devices pose no security risk.


"They were taken on the night of August 4 from cardboard boxes that
contained other equipment, but they cannot be used by anyone now," Mr
Economou said.


What appears to have rendered them harmless is that they weren't keyed.

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