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Number Stations


Rob W
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Interesting radio programme on these this morning - they transmit voices reading out a long list of numbers on Short Wave radio

 

They seem to be sommat to do with spooks - probably linked to one time code pads

 

Seem to have been around for years - even pre WW2

 

The one known as the "Lincolnshire Poacher" seems to be based at RAF Akrotiri  in Cyprus. "Atencion" is in Cuba  and was used by CUban spies in the USA

 

Its apparently been an offence to listen to them in the UK since 1949

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i heard the prog aswell,(except the last 5 mins,picking bairn up from playgroup).it was interesting for me as i've always heard them on SW and always just assumed they were for spies.going right now to radioplayer to get the last 5 mins.

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Guest Invicta_Toon

maybe, although if you intercepted a message, knew the time window in which it was composed, and had recorded the station during that time, you could break the code

 

 

only usefull for immediate action messages I would guess, although how do they transmit the starting point of the key?

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Wouldn't work on a one time pad tho

 

presumably there is an activation code/address somewhere in the system

 

like you know you're supposed to listen after 13:05 GMT and then the code 667878 is for you and you need to use the 100 numbers after that in your decode

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Wouldn't work on a one time pad tho

 

presumably there is an activation code/address somewhere in the system

 

like you know you're supposed to listen after 13:05 GMT and then the code 667878 is for you and you need to use the 100 numbers after that in your decode

how the f*** did you know my code,i suess my communist/islamic paymasters have been rumbled
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what wouldnt work?

 

Breaking the code by intercepting the numbers - a one time pad is exactly that - you have a pad which has on each page a list of numbers and letters; I have the only other copy - we throw away todays pad after one use.  The pads are randomly generated by computers (Tom Clancy states the NSA use atmospheric electrical activity as a generator of numbers as it is totally random and unprogrammeable) so it would take for ever to break a single message.

 

The problem with OTP is that you have to be able to get it to the agent and get replacements to him/her - they also have to be kept safe at each end.

 

Public key encryption has a lot of benifits in that you just publish the code in the papers but it may well be breakable by GCHQ and the NSA

 

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Wouldn't work on a one time pad tho

 

presumably there is an activation code/address somewhere in the system

 

like you know you're supposed to listen after 13:05 GMT and then the code 667878 is for you and you need to use the 100 numbers after that in your decode

how the f*** did you know my code,i suess my communist/islamic paymasters have been rumbled

 

little else to do here in Cheltenham today TBH

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Guest Invicta_Toon

what wouldnt work?

 

Breaking the code by intercepting the numbers - a one time pad is exactly that - you have a pad which has on each page a list of numbers and letters; I have the only other copy - we throw away todays pad after one use.  The pads are randomly generated by computers (Tom Clancy states the NSA use atmospheric electrical activity as a generator of numbers as it is totally random and unprogrammeable) so it would take for ever to break a single message.

 

The problem with OTP is that you have to be able to get it to the agent and get replacements to him/her - they also have to be kept safe at each end.

 

Public key encryption has a lot of benifits in that you just publish the code in the papers but it may well be breakable by GCHQ and the NSA

 

 

are you saying the numbers are the message or the key?

 

I assumed it was the key, which is why it could be broken. It must be the key, you wouldnt be continualy broadcasting messages

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why not?  they are normally artificially generated (like the Speaking Clock) so it costs nowt to do

 

if you don't send them all the time the other side will notice an uptick in activity when you really need to get mesages out and heighten their vigilance

 

You also make it harder for them to seperate the gold from the dross - if you only send one message a day  they can spend all their time trying to crack that one - send for 24 hours and they have a load of stuff to look through (its abit like this Board TBH- loads of gibberish generated 24/7 with a few grains of gold dust)

 

I think they are the message - you'd have to have a key whatever they are

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