Scanners 7, Tuning into Digital & Analogue Communications

B1853

This is a very valuable book for anyone who wants to take up scanning, but it is also essential reading from anyone who uses any type of radio equipment, including mobile phones, that are vulnerable to attacks by those who choose to use scanning and other techniques as a form of attack. Many people gain enjoyment for monitoring radio traffic and do no harm to anyone else. However, a small, but growing, number of hackers and phreakers are causing a great deal of harm by using the same techniques, adding specialist techniques and deliberately seeking to harm others

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NAME: Scanners 7, Tuning into Digital & Analogue Communications
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1853
DATE: 300713
AUTHOR: Peter Rouse, Bill Robertson
PUBLISHER: Special Interest Model Books, Orca
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 263
PRICE: £9.95
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: radio data, radio transmissions, scanning frequencies, hacking, radio enthusiast, motoring, antennae, frequency agile, encryption, radio spectrum, broadcasting, public service radio, military radio, marine VHF, marine SSB, HF, UHF, troposcatter, satellite relays, space communications, PMR, CB
ISBN: 978-1-85486-272-3
IMAGE: B1853.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/o294vp9
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Radio pioneers encouraged members of the public to monitor their early transmissions. To further encourage listening and commentating on radio transmissions, pioneers began to broadcast entertainment and accidentally created radio broadcasting as a news and entertainment medium. As the number of transmitters increased, and their use diversified, two radio environments were created. One positively encouraged people to monitor its frequencies, whilst the other environment wanted to be unmonitored and private.

In intelligence gathering terms, SIGINT, the monitoring of a potential enemy’s radio traffic can provide very valuable information and for decades, governments have employed encryption to prevent an enemy listening in and gaining full intelligence. As encryption adds cost and operational overheads, governments have traditionally avoided encrypting most of its radio traffic, even though a criminal could monitor police radio traffic with a very cheap readily available radio receiver and use the information in the commission of a crime. What governments have done is to enact legislation that makes the monitoring of traffic illegal and holds serious sanctions against those caught in the act. However, this has not stopped a very large radio monitoring community to develop. In general terms, monitoring radio traffic carries a very low probability of prosecution because someone scanning radio frequencies only has to avoid telling anyone else that he or she is doing this. Therefore, governments have continued to be vulnerable as a choice and a lack of ability to frame reliable regulating legislation.

When the late Peter Rouse wrote his original Scanners book, only a few radio users bothered to encrypt their traffic. This allowed anyone with an analogue radio receiver to begin scanning as a hobby. Equipment was relatively cheap and no tests or certificates were required. Using a fairly simple antenna, and a relatively cheap receiver, an enthusiast could listen in to a wide range of radio communications, even over the horizon and around the world. This might encourage a development of the interest into ‘ham’ or amateur radio communications where licenses and examinations were involved in much the same way as for sailors who needed radio communications when afloat. Peter Rouse never lived to complete his third revision, but others carried on his work and kept it current and accurate.

A great deal has changed with the massive growth in the numbers of low cost computers, availability of digital broadband cables and advent of digital radio receivers and transceivers. At the same time, governments have begun to apply encryption systems to all sorts of public sector radio communications systems and manufacturers have at last produced multi-band synthesised frequency portable transceivers that are able to link into public cellular telephone systems and into specialist private radio networks. Telephone systems have become increasingly digital and the number of attacks by hackers and phreakers has dramatically increased, introducing professional and very much illegal monitoring and interfering attacks on systems. Today, ‘blue chip’ companies, lawyers and private investigators think nothing of hacking into communications systems for financial advantage. This is creating a very complex situation and resulting on a great deal of defective legislation that bears down heavily on the innocent, or relatively, innocent but fails to reach the criminals who have discovered a new area for criminal profit.

Scanner 7 therefore comes at a very fortuitous time. It provides a great deal of sensible advice, both technical and legal to guide anyone wishing to take up scanning as a hobby. All of the elements of a radio system are explained in an easy to understand manner. Frequency allocations and radio procedure are explained. This includes terrestrial and space/satellite radio systems. The book then takes a close look at available equipment including the use of Personal Computers and smart phones.

This is a very valuable book for anyone who wants to take up scanning, but it is also essential reading from anyone who uses any type of radio equipment, including mobile phones, that are vulnerable to attacks by those who choose to use scanning and other techniques as a form of attack. Many people gain enjoyment for monitoring radio traffic and do no harm to anyone else. However, a small, but growing, number of hackers and phreakers are causing a great deal of harm by using the same techniques, adding specialist techniques and deliberately seeking to harm others

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