Secret Radio Stations By The Numbers

Secret Radio

By The Numbers One thing has stayed with the James Bond movie franchise through the decades: Mr. Bond always has the most wonderful of gadgets. Be it handheld car-based or otherwise theres always something to thrill that is mostly believable.

The biggest problem with all of those gadgets is that they mark Commander Bond as an obvious spy.

So Mr. Bond, I see you have a book with many random five-character groups. Nothing suspicious about that at all! And we all know that import/export. Specialists often carry exploding cufflinks or briefcases full of unknown electronics in hidden compartments.

Just as steganography hides data in plain sight,

The best spy gadgets are the By The Numbers ones that don’t seem to be a spy gadgets. It is no wonder some old weapons are little more than sticks or farm implements. You can tell a peasant he cant have a sword, but it is hard to ban sticks.

Imagine you were a cold war era spy living in a hostile country with a cover job with Universal Exports. Would you rather get caught with a sophisticated encryption machine or an. Ordinary consumer radio Im guessing you went with the radio. You aren’t the only one.

That was one of the presumed purposes to the mysterious shortwave broadcasts known as number stations. These were very common during the cold war, but there are still a few of them operating.

About Number Stations

There are actually several types of number stations, but the prototypical one is simply someone on the air reading lists of By The Numbers numbers (or sending them via Morse code). Some read off other coded messages (like phonetic alphabet letters) or have sounds. In the background that may or may not be digitally-encoded messages. One even used a sound clip from a Yosemite Sam cartoon to separate bursts of data.

According to the Comet Project, number stations were heard as early as World War I. In most cases, no one knows for sure what the purpose of the stations are. But there are dedicated groups that try to locate them and even decode what they are saying.

However it is thought that most of them use. Some form of one time pad cryptography which makes trying to decode them a very long shot.  It is pretty widely accepted. Though that the purpose of most (if not all) of these stations is to deliver clandestine messages.

For example, suppose I wanted to send you secret messages so I give you a shortwave receiver. I tell you to listen to a certain frequency at a certain time and I read off a series of numbers. To decode my message you treat the numbers I read as a page number followed by a word number in, for example, a newspaper that is a day or two old.

As long as you keep a copy of the newspaper and you have the radio, I can send you messages that would be very hard to decipher unless someone told you what newspaper we agreed to use. This is a form of one time pad and if you keep. The secrets the method is practically unbreakable. The key though is that when they search your hotel room and find a shortwave receiver and a few days of newspapers that’s not particularly suspicious.

In 1998 the FBI arrested five Cuban intelligence officers. The spies received messages via a numbers station (using Sony shortwave radios) and the coded messages were a big part of the FBI’s court case.

The FBI acquired the software the spies used to decode the messages and were able to read them (and present them in court).

The Cuban Five, also known as the Miami Five (Gerardo Hernández Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Libation Fernando González and René González) were tried and convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage conspiracy to commit murder acting as an agent of a foreign government and other charges.

In 2001 the Cuban government finally acknowledged that the men were intelligence agents. They did, however, maintain that they were spying on By The Numbers Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the United States government.

In 2001 the Cuban government finally acknowledged that the men were intelligence agents. They did, however, maintain that they were spying on Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the United States government.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
izmir escort