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Report #125 09/01/16

FAPSI CRYPTO ERRORS
I recently discovered two messages I had intercepted on the Americas FAPSI (Federal'naya Agenstvo Pravitel'stvennoy Svayazi i Informatsii --- Russian Federal Agency for Government Communications & Information) network in the 1990s. These Russian communications were sent from, net control in Cuba to out-stations at various Western Hemisphere sites. (See Report #124 for additional details) Both messages show that the code clerks had evidently failed to properly complete the preparation of the messages. The plain texts had been encoded but that product had not then been enciphered which was the normal procedure.
One message was sent to station KAC (location unknown) on 10/31/96. This message and the second message both had the initial two text groups as 55555 77011 which possibly indicated the subject matter, be it corrections, additions, or maybe the spelling of names or terms not having a specific code group. Both messages had 11199 as the initial group in the message heading. This had been determined to be used for message QSLing and/or the servicing of messages.
If the null 99s (first 2 digits of group 3 & onward) are dropped, the remaining trinomes are believed to be code groups. Here is the message heading and the first line of text groups as copied.
11199 00128 00000 31282 00609
55555 77011 99612 99736 99739 99656 99736 99737 99698 99736

Now we will drop the 99s from group 3 onward:
612
736 739 656
736 737 698
736 737 607 698 734 678 656
736 612
736 726 640
736 601 727 725 726 620 726 698 737 698 607 698 625 698
736 752
736 011
736 726
736 698 737 751 769 640 737 747 612 676 774 747 775 735 711
736 765 749

The other message, date unknown, was sent to station YBU (location unknown). Here again, the message had been encoded but the resultant text had not been enciphered. I often wondered what the fate was of these two code clerks who were responsible for these communications security lapses.
Both messages had 99749 as the final group of text and at frequent internals in the YBU message. Perhaps this could equate to a punctuation symbol?

The FAPSI Americas network dried up. HZW and KAC disappeared in August 1999. In September 1999 KRN was changed from a daily schedule to Thursday only. In January 2000 PSN was gone by 15 January. In February 2000 SPK, BPA, WNY and JMS all received a message on 4 February and from that date onward no schedules for those stations were observed. The last schedule for GMN was 9 February 2000.
This left only one activity. The WFO/MIG (Link 00125). WFO was the callsign for the field station located in Managua, Nicaragua and MIG was the callsign for the station in Cuba. After the Presidential elections in Nicaragua were concluded, this link ceased operation in 2001.

AGENTURA, RU
Several interesting articles were indicated on the http://agentura.ru/english web site including; "What's going on at Russia's KGB Successor?"; Soviet Atomic Spy Who Asked for a U.S. Pension"; Kremlin Is Bringing China's Internet Censors To Moscow"; and "Spies in the British parliament-A defector's trail".
Also this book review caught my eye. "The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries." This book was published in September 2015 was written by Agentura personalities Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. The book is available at Amazon.com. I ordered a copy and received it a few days ago so I have only read the first few pages but I already sense that this book will present many revealing facts concerning Russian overseeing of social media communications.

End of Report

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2016 Don Schimmel.