ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter - Issue 13

November 2002
Articles, newsreports and Items of interest : e2k_news@hotmail.com

Morse stations | Voice stations | Numbers predictions
Oddities | Michael John Smith, Codename Borg
Book Review :England needs you | Numbers on holiday | News Items
Web sites | Requests | Stop press | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home

News & items of interest

E2k acknowledges, with thanks, the receipt of Newsletter 41 from WOYG.

The twelve aircraft spotters return to Greece on appeal at end of October/November to hopefully receive a fair decision on their earlier conviction for spying. [http://fly.to/kalamata14]. Two accused Dutchmen also attend.

David Shayler in Court.

Ex MI5 employee David Shayler will appear at the Old Bailey on 28/10 to answer charges brought against him for certain disclosures made in contravention with the OSA.

Team Cracks RSA Encryption Challenge [from AF]
Finding the key in RC5-challenge.

This shows how much effort is necessary to brute-force a "simple" 64 bit key. AF's dual-CPU C=A4000T was working 24hours/7days a week for the Amiga RC5 team which reached the 7th place finally. It checked about 441000 keys per second in avarage! Total Blocks to Search: 68,719,476,736 Keyspace Checked: 0.00034637% Total Keys Tested: 63,894,349,414,400 Time Working: 1,677days Overall Rate: 441 KKeys/sec. AF tested 441,000 keys per second in average (!) for 1,677 days. But all this power made no more than 0.00034673% of the possibilities. AF thinks this can help to imagine the problems in decrypting spy messages a little bit ;)

To read more go to:

From a reader in Australia we receive this interesting Q&A raised by Simon Mason's enjoyable piece in Issue 10:

Showing how behind I am with my reading, in Issue 10 Simon Mason interviewed two German DXers about their experiences with numbers stations. Referring to the many German numbers stations one remarked:

"I may be wrong, but I always wondered why there were so many stations using "German" numbers, even with speakers whose native language obviously is not German and with stations operated from outside (East and West) Germany.? is German?simply the language which allows the best distinction of different numbers ?"

So, who would use German, other than Germans?

The Central Asian republics that broke away from the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan etc) are multicultural states with numerous ethnic and religious minorities within their borders. Not surprisingly, schools teach a variety of languages; students are usually obliged to learn two local languages and a foreign language.

The local languages in these places could be Pushtu, Kazakh, Uzbek or a local Turkic dialect. The foreign languages offered are Russian (no surprises there) and (this is surprising) German. Both of these languages were introduced by the All-Union Ministry of Education back in the days of the Soviet Union.

Why German? Well it seems that Communist Party ideologues from Russia often took their inspiration from the older German Marxist writers, rather than coming up with their own political analyses of the local situation. This exaggerated deference to out-of-date foreign thought must have had an impact on the relevance (or irrelevance) of Party policies. Although there are Marxist intellectuals all over the world, Russian Marxists seem to have had little respect for them and preferred German writers from the 1930s to even Russian intellectuals when they wanted to analyse their position. Thus German became a language to learn if you wanted to progress in the state apparatus.

In Australia we refer to this as the "cultural cringe" - the belief (usually held by conservatives) that one particular set of foreigners seems to have all the answers and your fellow countrymen know nothing, even about their own lives.

These days, the young people in these republics want to learn English, but the educated people of the older generation will still speak Russian or German. If you were an intelligence organisation in, say, Tajikistan, and you had recruited some ex-party apparatchiks in, say, Uzbekistan, you might well be transmitting coded messages to them in your one common language - German.

[Thanks Bruce, Australia]

Cuba Spy jailed

Former DIA intelligence officer Ana Belen Montes, 45, has been jailed for 25 years for conspiring to spy for Cuba.

She told the judge the she had felt,"obligated to help the island defend itself from efforts [by US] to impose our [US] values and our political system on it."

[Wonder if anyone is doing the same for Iraq]?

Mossad Changes

From j6m: Ephraim Alehvy has left Mossad and is replaced by Meyer Daghan, formerly Isreali envoy to the EU, and, prior to that, in charge of struggle against terrorism.

Frying Tonight

In the latest report from the Broadcasting Standards Commission complaints were partially upheld about the BBC spy drama 'Spooks' over a harrowing scene in which a female MI5 agent had her head immersed in boiling chip fat. The episode drew 154 complaints to the BSC but the regulator ruled that, although shocking, the scenes were acceptable in context. However, it agreed that the BBC should have given a more explicit warning before the programme started that it contained violent scenes. Daily Telegraph Media Editor.

China Pulls The Plug

China has blocked the satellite signal of the BBC's World Service Television channel after being angered by a news item about the banned Falun Gong movement.

Radio Free Europe

Radio Free Europe is to close its Czech language service at the end of September after more than 50 years. RFE/RL Director Thomas Dine, announcing the decision, said that the annual savings of about $650,000 would go towards expanding other services. Dine said that the decision had been difficult, but "we have new priorities and new financial burdens we to carry in our budget that did not exist before September. RN Media Network -via BDXC.

Red Alert in USA is all down to the Weather

The State of South Dakota USA is to utilise the VHF Weather station network to double up as an emergency public warning system. The USA (unlike the UK) as a network of VHF weather stations which operate on 10 fixed frequencies - between 161 & 163 MHz, (these can be found on many scanners marked Weather), the stations provide hurricane and other weather related warnings 24 hours a day. South Dakota is to utilise 14 transmitters and as purchased 5000 radio receivers to be placed in Schools and all other public buildings and utilities, law enforcement agencies and public services can use the service to broadcast any non weather related item in the event of an emergency - information will be relayed instantly across the State, saving valuable time. The USA already have a network in place and it is thought the scheme could be extended nationwide. Although satellite technology could be employed, the weather network already exists and is a very cost effective solution post September 11th. Via Deutsche Welle English Service.

British Radio System Rubbish !

A recent review of Britain's ability to cope with an emergency post September 11th came in for damning comment, one mention of radio communications indicated that the system did not in fact cover London, an unnamed official also described the radio system as 'rubbish'. I would be interested to know if these comments were about MOULD - the VHF system ? Comments welcome, please. It is also reported that MOULD is getting a dust down and should be becoming more active? Anyone hearing more traffic? The most active (I use the term loosely) are in the areas between 73.9 to 74.8 MHz and 149.0 and 149.9 MHz.

It all a load of ****'s

A parliamentary committee report into the run up to September 11 and its aftermath, said that with hindsight, the nature of the threat posed by al-Qa'eda was never fully appreciated by Western secret services until it was too late. MI6, MI5 and GCHQ had identified the danger posed by bin Laden and advised ministers last (2001) July, seven weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, that some sort of attack was imminent. A paper by the Joint Intelligence Committee suggested that the likely target was America or Israeli, rather than British. In past years, large sections of the committee's report were edited out and replaced by asterisks because the information was considered to be security sensitive. It says last June's view of intelligence priorities resulted in the agencies being expected to *** which would give Britain a better understanding of ***. since September 11, GCHQ has set up a new team to develop *** and MI6 have set out to recruit *** extra staff, some of whom speak *** and are focusing extra resources on ***. So now we know.

[Tnx C]

National Technical Assistance Centre [NTAC] suffers delay.

The Governments new internet surveillance centre will not be operational until next year.

As part of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act it acts as an intermediary between ISP's [Internet Service Providers] and Law enforcement agencies.

The unit, based in MI5's headquarters, has been decrypting seized computer data from the summer of 2001. This means that there will be no intercepting and reading emails and web traffic with the police tapping lines of communications themselves. It is thought that this delay would frustrate the government's combating the use of the internet by paedophiles and suspected terrorists.

The Case of David Shayler reaches Court

The Case of David Shayler reached Court when it opened with legal arguments at the Old Bailey on 7th October. Reporting restrictions have been imposed on this trial which is expected to deal with the three offences under the Official Secrets Act that Shayler is said to have committed.

The actual trial started with the disclosure of some of the files, apparently written by Mr Shayler and sold for a sum of £40k, to the jury. He was found guilty and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment on 5th November 2002.

Competition to win a Sony VAIO GRX516SP

The 'Metro' newspaper of 10th October carried a competition to win a laptop computer. After a suitably long and boring intro the reader was invited to find a word to fit a sequence of numbers.

21, 14, 10, 13, 14, 1, 2, 17, 18, 25. [We were told 10=A, R=1]

At 0607 rattling along the tracks towards Victoria it seemed a good enough challenge to wile away the 25 minute journey.

Ah, two 14's, that's just got to be E's, but hang on a mo what word is there in the text of the puzzle that fits the 10 character offering? Obviously 'LEADERSHIP' its second letter is an E and occurs twice in the same place as 14, the A occurs correctly too as does the R.

I have [probably] 21, E A, 13, E, R, 2, 17, 18, 25 so lets see how we can fit the numerals. If R is 1 and the next letter is an S[2] then surely the alphabet in a numerical sense is just offset by 9, hence A= 1+9 whilst M is 13+9 and so on. That makes L 12+9=21! I started the task at Norbury Station and had it finished by Streatham Common; three minutes work! It appears that I have not won the laptop and neither did my daughter! How would you have tackled this one André?

NSA massive contract to update system

The NSA have signed a £395M contract with Science Applications International of San Diego to help develope a more refined system for culling useful intelligence from a flood of data it collects daily. It is said that the system will reflect the growing challenge of electronic eavesdropping. "There's a ton more communications out there and how to sift through that is an increasing problem for the NSA," said Richard A. Best Jr. of the Congressional Research Service. The advent of e-mail, pagers, cellular phones, fax machines and the growth of international telephone service has left the NSA with "profound 'needle-in-a-haystack' challenges," Best said.

It was reported that 11th September 2001 attacks underscored the need for such monitoring. Among the millions of communications intercepts the NSA collected on Sept. 10, 2001 were two Arabic-language messages warning of a major event the next day. The Arabic messages were not translated until Sept. 12.

Ultimate Force?

In 1980 the Special Air Service were put directly into public view as they stormed the Iranian Embassy to release hostages; their act being televised worldwide. Wanted or not they were firmly in the public gaze and book after book was published about the Regiments history, achievements and about those men who belonged to the secretive regiment based in Hereford.

Then, in 1982, the big screen took over with 'Who Dares Wins'. It had a particularly poor plot, and brimmed with token Americans to ensure a showing Stateside. The best scene was of two troopers being flown in by helicopter towards the hostage scene whilst dangling on ropes. Any terrorist worth his salt would have slotted them in transit!

The storyline told of an American activist who turned up on our fair shores and held the American Ambassador [Richard Widmark] hostage in his own home. Then enter discredited SAS man Peter Skellen [Lewis Collins] who, after breakdown of negotiations by the Met Chief Constable, played by Edward Woodward, frees the hostages. The attempt looked poor against the real events of 1980 or any playtime battle in an infants school. [Good job the tragedy duo of George and Tony, those sad Premier Comedians, weren't at the helm then; they would have strafed, napalmed and fragged all of West Wickham and Keston just to get the bodies back, and without any reference to Bromley County Council, let alone the UN]!

Ultimate Force features 'Grant Mitchell', that less than friendly, umpteen times divorcee, and once time publican of 'Eastenders' fame as a sergeant in the regiment.

Yes, Grant Mitchell has now become 24nnnnnn Sgt Henno [don't call me Henry] Garvie in Ultimate Force, a series co-devised by decorated former SAS trooper Chris Ryan and Rob Heyland [whoever he is].

Ross Kemp aka Grant Mitchell, played the 'tough and charismatic character' of Sgt Garvie, the leader of the SAS crack 'Red Troop'. The effects were good and gallons of make-believe claret were ejected, splashed or spurted around the set every time someone received the double tap. You even saw magazines changed as the last round was fired, which was refreshing. Even the female Rupert had a stoppage, [looked like a Minimi] which was cleared, whilst engaging Irish gunmen in the penultimate episode. [Why was a female, let alone a Rupert, involved in the SAS? Equal opportunities? Who cares?].

I watched the first episode in company with a mate who suddenly pipes up 'That's not the Brecon's, looks more like Swaffham to me with all those pine trees'. I had to agree. The last episode was accompanied by 'That looks nothing like Bosnia, more like the road to Norwich!' The person who made those comments had cause to know.

Sgt Henno Garvie was so well decorated that the weight of the medals, actually pinned in the correct order, were threatening to tear the fabric of his tunic, uniform number two, walking out for the use of.

The storylines were familiar and have been run a thousand times. Bank siege - The Bill, Release of Biowar agents - Andromeda Strain and many others, Northern Ireland politics and skulduggery - Harry's Game; Rogue failed SAS man topping recruits - any office in the Square Mile where the young graduates play their silly games on the ladder to the top.

Finally we see the mighty Henno resign because of his conduct in NI. Naturally he reappears working undercover with an SAS mate and it's their brief to top or maybe capture a wanted war criminal. The undercover angle was the basis for 'Who Dares Wins' and like his counterpart Peter ['slowing down a little Peter'] Skellen, Garvie was unable to slot the female adversary with whom he had experienced some 'tenderness' just before the commercial break.

In the series former SAS trooper Chris Ryan MM appears in the role of Sgt Johnny Bell and looked totally out of place in the series; apparently not at ease in his new role. Why on earth was he wearing a white lab coat to drive the hostage's coach in the first episode; perhaps he was performing a toxicology assay on Anthrax samples en route? His brown leather bomber jacket and light coloured slacks did little for his ability to remain forever the grey man either. [That's the sort of clobber that would get dirty if one tripped over the cyanolumes or the cabling in use at a disused 1882 built Mental Hospital, Mr Ryan - what a weekend]. It was particularly humorous to see their 'Boss' appear in BBC's Holby City as a patient in the same week, as well as having previously played the CO in ITV's 'Soldier, Soldier. [Didn't we have a Garvie in that one too]?

Incidentally, even the makers of Ultimate Force steered clear of the SA80 [A1 or A2 version]. Not one in sight anywhere, in or out of the recommended carrier bag.

Real SAS men honoured.

At least six SAS troops who fought in Afghanistan will receive some of Great Britain's highest military honours. A Regimental Sergeant Major is reported to have 'narrowly missed the Victoria Cross' for leading his men against enemy troops and resorting to hand to hand battle when ammunition ran out. The honours that will be received include Distinguished Service awards and Military Crosses.

One SAS member will be decorated for rescuing a CIA officer during a battle at Qala-I-Jangi fort.

[To commemorate the SAS rescue Hollywood will probably make a film depicting an elderly CIA operative rescuing a platoon of SAS men after he wipes out Iraq's entire Scud Force and NBC* research area single-handed. *NBC, Nuclear Biological and Chemical].

Codename Sonya

PoSW sends this Item of interest;- BBC Radio 4 did a half hour programme called "Codename Sonya" on 10 - October. It was on the subject of Ruth Werner, alias Kuczynski, who operated as a spy for the USSR in several countries - including the UK in the 1940's and the early years of the Cold War. She was never caught and died a couple of years ago. By the way there is an interesting article on Sonya, including a circuit diagram of one of the HF transceivers she used, in a Radio Society of Great Britain publication "Technical Topics Scrapbook 1990 to 1994", an article which first appeared in the RSGB journal in March 1992.


And finally from an Anon member of our NI Branch [insert your own accent for this one please]!

" I've really heard it all now.......first it was briefcases left on trains, and laptops left in restaurants ......now, 'Soldier 027' a witness at the Bloody Sunday Tribunal claims that he cannot produce his diary for dates in question - as it was stolen from him by a group of transvestites on the Paris Metro......!"

November 2002
Articles, newsreports and Items of interest : e2k_news@hotmail.com

Morse stations | Voice stations | Numbers predictions
Oddities | Michael John Smith, Codename Borg
Book Review :England needs you | Numbers on holiday | News Items
Web sites | Requests | Stop press | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home