[Cryptography] "Exclusive: Russia carried out a 'stunning' breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil"

Jonathan Thornburg jthorn4242 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 16 23:21:22 EDT 2019

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 02:31:37PM -0400, Jerry Leichter wrote:
> It looks as if the Russians, starting in roughly 2010, managed to
> crack the encryption used on FBI tactical radios.
> https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-russia-carried-out-a-stunning-breach-of-fbi-communications-system-escalating-the-spy-game-on-us-soil-090024212.html

Hmm, this looks all too relevant:

   Sandy Clark, Travis Goodspeed, Perry Metzger, Zachary Wasserman,
   Kevin Xu, and Matt Blaze
   "Why (Special Agent) Johnny (Still) Can't Encrypt:
    A Security Analysis of the APCO Project 25 Two-Way Radio System"
   Proceedings of the 20th Usenix Security Symposium, August 10-12, 2011

The paper states that this (P25) radio system "has recently enjoyed
particularly widespread adoption by the federal government for the
tactical radios used for surveillance and other confidential
operations by Federal law enforcement agencies such as the DEA, FBI,
the Secret Service, ICE, and so on."

>From the abstract:
"We found a number of protocol, implementation, and user interface
weaknesses that routinely leak information to a passive eavesdropper
or that permit highly efficient and difficult to detect active attacks."

-- "Jonathan Thornburg [remove -animal to reply]" <jthorn at astro.indiana-zebra.edu>
   Dept of Astronomy & IUCSS, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
   "He wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out,
    and then when I open the door he stays put, undecided, and then glares
    at me when I put him out"
      -- Nathalie Loiseau (French minister for European Affairs,
                           explaining why she named her cat "Brexit")

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