Hadmut Danisch

Ansichten eines Informatikers

Ein verschlüsseltes Polizeitelefon mit Schweizer Hintertür: SE-160 Kryptovox

Hadmut
11.11.2020 23:46

Und noch ein Hinweis auf faule Vorgänge in Deutschland.

Ein Leser hat mir zur Bestätigung noch einen Hinweis auf ein weiteres Puzzlestück geschickt: Das Handfunkgerät SE-160 Cryptovox.

Begriffserklärung:

CRYPTOVOX
Digital speech encryptors

CRYPTOVOX was a family of true digital voice encryptors introduced between 1968 and 1983 by Crypto AG (Hagelin) in Zug (Switzerland). The devices provided secure digital communication through voice-grade wide­band channels, such as VHF and UHF radio links. Some of the devices were (partly) developed by Motorola in the United States and Siemens in Germany.

Und zum SE-160:

SE-160
Handheld radio with voice encryption · CRYPTOVOX

The SE-160 is a half-duplex handheld FM/PM radio, manufactured by ASCOM in Switzerland around 1992 and sold by a wide variety of companies, including ASCOM, Bosch, Motorola and Crypto AG (Hagelin). The radios operate in the VHF-L, VHF-H or UHF band. Some versions have built-in voice encryption made by Crypto AG, which is implemented as an embedded chip.

Herrlich. ASCOM, Bosch, Motorola und Crypto AG.

The image above shows a typical SE-160 in a bright grey enclosure. The version shown here was marketed by the German company Bosch GmbH, and features strong digital encryption provided by Crypto AG (Hagelin). It was used for many years by an undisclosed law enforcement agency in the Netherlands. The SE-160 was first introduced in 1992 and was in production until the mid-2000s.

Die deutsche Bosch GmbH hatte also Geräte mit Cryptochip von der Crypto AG vertrieben. Hähä. 2002 wollte mich mal ein Head Hunter als Kryptologe bei Bosch unterbringen.

Some versions of the SE-160 feature digital voice encryption, also known as Cryptovox® , which is supplied by Crypto AG (Hagelin) in Zug (Switzerland) as an embedded chip, marked HC-34xx. It was marketed by Crypto AG as Cryptovox SE-160 and was compatible with the SE-580 1 [2]. Compared to competing systems, the Swiss Cryptovox technology offers superior audio quality.

Hehe.

In the radio featured on this page, the crypto-chip carries the designator HC-3452, which means that it is probably a special (customised) variant of Crypto AG’s proprietary HC-3400 encryption algorithm. This is usually done to avoid crypto-compatibily between customers.

Damit die einen nicht mit den anderen tauschen und vielleicht welche mit der falschen oder ohne Hintertür verwenden?

Und das ganze als Nachfolger (tataaaa) von analogen Voice Scramblern:

The SE-160C was the successor to the secure version of the SE-20 handheld radio, manufactured by Ascom’s predecessor Autophon. Contrary to the SE-160 however, the SE-20 does not provide real voice encryption, but instead features a variant of Vericrypt; a time-domain voice scrambler made by Brown Boveri and Company (BBC). This means that the SE-20 is inherently insecure.

Jo. Voice Scrambler sind inherently insecure. Deshalb hatte die britische Polizei sowas bekommen und deshalb wollte Beth mich verdonnern, nur sowas zu bauen.

Die Hintertür

Compromise

On 24 October 2020, the Dutch investigative VPRO radio program Argos revealed that the Ascom SE-160 devices that had been sold to the Dutch police in the early 1990s, contained a so-called backdoor. This means that the cryptographic algorithm – from Crypto AG – had been weakened in such a way, that the radio traffic became readable to the US National Security Agency (NSA) [5][6].

Until the late 1980s, special enforcement teams of the Dutch police had used open – unencrypted – radio channels for their communication, which could be received by anyone with a scanner. After a series of major incidents, such as the kidnapping of brewer Freddy Heineken (1983), the kidnapping and death of top manager Gerrit Jan Heijn (1987) and the kidnapping and death of Army Colonel van der Kieft (1989), it was decided that special law enforcement units should get radios with the best possible encryption. In the latter case, the Colonel had been killed by a shot from the swat team, which was later attributed to the lack of reliable and secret communication.

The SE-160 radios were not only used by the Dutch Police, but also by special units of the Dutch Army (in foreign operations), criminal investigations teams, VIP protection teams, the Dutch Bank, the UN Tribunal and many other special services throughout The Netherlands. Unknown to the Dutch Government however, the company that supplied the encryption – the Swiss Crypto AG – was secretly owned by the German BND and the American CIA as part of Operation RUBICON [7].

Argos has now revealed that the situation led to a conflict between the BND and the CIA – the BND didn’t want to provide insecure equipment to the Dutch – but that in the end the Americans won the argument. In the broadcast, former Crypto AG employee Jürg Spöerndli, confirms the supply of backdoored equipment to the Netherlands.

Das ist ein hochinteressanter Punkt:

Die CIA hat der niederländischen Polizei schwache Geräte untergejubelt, und habe deshalb Krach mit dem BND bekommen, weil der BND den Niederländern keine geschwächten Geräte habe verkaufen wollen. Die Amerikaner hätten gewonnen.

Und die Briten hatten auch schwache Geräte.

Anfang der Neunziger Jahre.

Und da komme ich dann mit einem starken Kryptotelefon daher. Womöglich noch genau in diese Situation, die zum Krach zwischen BND und CIA führte.

Hochinteressante Frage, ob der Professor Ueli Maurer von der ETH Zürich irgendwas mit den Kryptoprodukten der ASCOM zu tun hatte.

Aber der versicherte ja 2018: Ueli Maurer, ETH-Professor und Kryptologe: «Ich arbeite nicht für Geheimdienste»

Die Zweifel, die ich daran habe, liegen in Form seines Gutachtens in meinem Aktenordner.

Denn immer deutlicher wird, dass ich mit meiner Arbeit diese riesigen Spionageprojekte leicht konterkariert hätte.

Ich hatte ja schon vermutet, dass ich gar nicht mal von den Amerikanern, sondern von Leiberich vom BND prophylaktisch abgesägt wurde, um keinen Krach mit den Amerikanern zu kriegen.

Wenn jetzt klar ist, dass die damals Krach hatten, und der BND 1993 ausgestiegen sei, eben wegen Streites über verschlüsselte Funkgeräte, dann hätte man so ein Kryptotelefon mindestens als Provokation aufgefasst. Vor allem dann, wenn Beth für die CIA tätig war.