View Full Version : ENIGMA
09-18-2011, 10:28 PM
Qoutes taken from the October 2011 issue of Wired Magazine:
"From a Lonely Rusted Tower In A Forest North Of Moscow..."
"For decades, a shortwave radio station somewhere in Russia has broadcast mysterious patterns of beeps,buzzes,and hums. Why? No one knows. But thousands of people listen in."
"Most observers believe that UVB-76 is an idiosynchratic example of what is called a numbers station, used to communicate to spies or other agents."
"Estonian Andrus Aalaid runs an internet relay for UVB-76 out of his attic office"
"Its frequency of 4625 kHz, its main 20-kilowatt transmitter and its horizontal dipole antenna points to conventional military use."
A very interesting article if you can get a hold of it!!
09-20-2011, 11:34 PM
I will have to check that out. Thanks Mike.
09-21-2011, 10:45 PM
This brings back memories. I spent the best ten years of my life listening to whatever the Russians, at the time Soviets, could bring up. Some of it, to the untrained listener, sounded weird and ominous. Most of it was very practical once you understood what it was.
This station came on the air after I left the intelligence community so I can only guess at what it is, but here's my guess: It's part of what the Russians call the "Dead Hand" system. The overall system serves to guarantee the Russians a nuclear second strike capability in the event leadership were killed off in a preemptive first strike.
The buzzing is a beacon. It simply allows the receiving station to tune their receivers and direct their antennae as necessary. It's up all the time because the watch is 24x7. The hourly change from the 30-second "buzz" is a time synchronization signal. The occasional voice message is a test - sort of like the random testing we do on the emergency broadcasting system. The numbers and phonetics are an encrypted message, a "one time pad" from a cypher system that's only used once to prevent decryption. The receiver compares his message to what's in his book and, if there's a match, he performs some action - likely, he releases nuclear missiles, probably from a submarine.
Here is a You-Tube recording of this thing for those who haven't heard the buzz or the voice signal.
Here's a video of the station when it breaks to a voice broadcast. The message uses standard Russian military phonetics.
I spent many twelve hour watches listening to stuff like this - a steady drone of CW call signs and then a sudden broadcast of a coded message. It was enough to make your heart stop because you never knew what that message meant or what the result would be.
My guess is that this is very primitive backup system designed to be deployed "when all else fails". The Russians have much more sophisticated command and control communications based on satellites and digital communications.
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