We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: Dangers posed by the increasing availability of low cost Software Defined Radio  (Read 1369 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24828
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Greg Jones, a director of wireless security specialist, Digital Assurance, is warning of the dangers posed by the increasing availability of low cost software defined radio (SDR) solutions. He says, "It's extremely likely that criminal gangs, hacktivists and others will all show a growing interest in [SDR]. And we're not just talking about the hacking of individual mobile phones here but the possible compromise of critical infrastructure."

http://www.gomonews.com/warning-of-increased-gsm-tetra-attacks/
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline weaksigs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 348
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Central Florida
    • View Profile
    • Email
This or something quite similar has crossed my mind more than once.
The new software defined radios do open a whole new way of listening,
auditing, decoding and in general breaking down many signals into their
readable format.

Only a short time ago this type of technology was only in the hands of
agencies and governments. Now with the hardware and many software
super men we have, almost anything goes!

Stay tuned kiddies!
 ;D

weaksigs

Central Florida
136' random wire for general HF,
Winradio Excalibur G31 & Kenwood TS-590

Peace!

Offline UNID QRP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • UNID QRP Radio
Ehh.  What's old is new again.

The line in the article that really bothers me is this: "thanks to SDR it’s no longer possible to assume that calls made over commercial and specialist wireless networks are inherently secure."  That's bullshit: you could never assume they were inherently secure.  SDR is just another potential avenue of attack on the radio-based portion of the data transmission; it completely ignores the fact that a compromise or abuse of the wireline infrastructure carrying the traffic after it has been received by the carrier would be far more effective and, in some ways, easier to accomplish.

It really reads like someone's trying to whip up a tempest in a teapot with this one.  Sure, an SDR could be used for Evil Purposes(tm), but it's not like these attacks aren't already happening.  I get that the idea was to show that the software component of the SDR has driven down the cost of the hardware, thus making it easier to acquire and implement - but there are other, better ways of attacking these standards.  For now ;)

Offline CptFourA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
You would think a "director of wireless security specialist" would have a little bit better understanding of technology he is apparently a specialist in. As the poster above has already mentioned, more of the same. Security through obscurity is not security. If you are counting on physical manufacturing lockouts on receivers/transmitters to portions of spectrum to protect you, you probably deserved to get compromised. There have been plentiful mods available on various non SDR equipment for decades for those with a desire for that. Not to mention the ability to just build your own. It always strikes me when people think of "wireless" in terms of being a modern technology, what you call 4G is really like 112G.

4a.
-= Mesa,Arizona =-
Icom IC-718 and doublet

Fansome

  • Guest
Evil, evil, evil. SDR is just evil. Right down there with e-QSLs.

Offline The Hokie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Ehh.  What's old is new again.

The line in the article that really bothers me is this: "thanks to SDR it’s no longer possible to assume that calls made over commercial and specialist wireless networks are inherently secure."

Put all your life online! All your current technology is outdated! Buy more!  ;D

Quote
It really reads like someone's trying to whip up a tempest in a teapot with this one.

Method of survival for a security contractor.
The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry