How secure is HF radio?

How secure is HF radio?

Whether used for humanitarian, critical or military communications, security is essential in high frequency (HF) radio transmission. But just how secure is HF radio? It depends on the equipment being used.

Let’s take a closer look at three security options available when using HF radio.

Encryption

Voice and data transmitted over Barrett Communications HF radios can be secured through a number of encryption options, including DES (Data Encryption Standard) 56 and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256. Encryption scrambles a message according to a particular algorithm, which can only be decrypted with the same key the broadcaster used. To any party without the key attempting to listen to the transmission, it is indecipherable.

The Barrett Communications PRC-2090 tactical HF system also features front-panel connectors that allow for interfacing with external OEM voice crypto devices. This facilitates interoperability with security hardware from other vendors – a key requirement for many users of HF radio systems.

Secure Call

The Barrett Secure Call option provides HF radio operators with a secure speech path using an in-band hopping technique. This feature is simple to use, just requiring the setup of a four-digit PIN on each radio.

Secure Call enables point-to-point and point-to-multipoint (group calls) communication between radios within a network. If any radio drops out of the call, an operator will need to re-establish the link using the Secure Call method.

This feature is similar to military frequency-hopping systems, but it uses an assigned narrow-band frequency of 3KHz instead. Secure Call in-band frequency changes occur at four or 15 times a second, depending on the user’s selection.

Frequency hopping

It’s virtually impossible to listen in on a secured transmission when it keeps shifting to different broadcast frequencies. This is the theory behind frequency hopping – broadcasting over a rapidly changing number of frequencies according to a set pattern. Transceivers that are programmed to follow a corresponding hopping pattern can keep up without interruption, while others are unable to intercept the broadcast.

Frequency hopping moves HF radio transmissions through a set pattern of 5 to 25 frequencies per second.

Frequency hopping options on Barrett Communications radios can work independently in the field without the need for synchronisation from a central control point. With an 8-digit hopping encryption key and hopping rates of 5 to 25 frequency shifts per second, this configuration offers the highest level of security in transmission. Frequency hopping is subject to Australian Department of Defence export license.

From military HF to humanitarian or fallback communication needs, keeping transmissions secure is a high priority. To learn more about how Barrett Communications can assist your organisation, contact a representative today.

RELATED ARTICLES

How HF radio communication alleviate damage during wildfires

In times of crisis, first responders must be able to communicate with each other and their station. This is especially true if that crisis happens to be a wildfire or bushfire. More Related News/Articles:How HF radio helps humanitarian recovery after storm seasonUnderstanding the difference between SDR and HDRWhat would humanitarian communications look like…Why HF radio […]

Understanding the difference between SDR and HDR

There’s been a lot of excitement around the recent proliferation of software-defined radios. More Related News/Articles:What’s the difference between how HF and VHF/UHF…Making a difference in PeruHF digital vs analogue voice – what is the difference?What separates commercial HF radios from…

How HF digital voice mode improves workplace safety

One of the best new features of software-defined radios has been the introduction of digital voice mode. More Related News/Articles:Why linking HF radio with smart devices improves…How do VHF radio waves travel?What’s the difference between how HF and VHF/UHF…What 3 factors does HF radio offer critical communications?

Introducing the PRC-4090

With the books closed on the 2019 Defence and Security Equipment International Exhibition in London, a new range of tactical radio made its formal introduction to the world: the PRC-4090 tactical high-frequency software-defined radio. More Related News/Articles:Barrett previews PRC-4090 Tactical HF SDR at DSEIBarrett PRC-2080 VHF Tactical radio system End of…What’s under the lid of […]

Why do we need secure communication?

It’s no secret that data is one of the most lucrative currencies in the modern world. More Related News/Articles:Why Barrett’s FCC approval is key to our American HF…Why a sailing legend swears by HF radio for reliable…Encrypted critical communication – why HF radio excelsWhy medical teams need HF radio for disaster relief

How robust is the Barrett 4050 HF SDR transceiver?

For those working in field operations, interrupted communication can threaten the success of squad movements and compromise safety. More Related News/Articles:The robustness of infrastructure-free HF radio…Why Barrett’s FCC approval is key to our American HF…How HF radio ease of use is helping humanitarian…Increasing communication with smart devices and HF radio

Post by onchada_admin