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Report #126 10/01/16

In a rather lengthy article titled "Reincarnation of the KGB", the upcoming overhaul of the Russian Security Services was described. A popular Russian daily, Kommersant, indicated the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) was to be merged with the Federal Security Service (FSB). The combined organization will bear the old Stalin secret services name - Ministry of State Security.
Agentura commented that "If the combination of foreign espionage and domestic surveillance looks familiar, well it should: In all but name, we are seeing a resurrection of the Committee for State Security-otherwise known as the KGB.

The M08A activity on 7554 kHz continues to be swamped by the French Navy. On Tuesday 20 September the 8135 kHz signal was observed going directly into the first message with no callup. This practice has been seen in the past. On Friday 16 September, the 1700 sked of HM01 WAS initially on the wrong frequency of 11635 KHz. Later the transmissions was shifted to 11530 kHz, the correct frequency for that sked.

Years ago the Federal Agency for Government Communications (FAPSI) had a network in the Americas. (See Report #124). One of those stations was BPA with link number 00116 receiving traffic on 14824/10424 kHz at 1515 UTC. Another sked for BPA was on 19610.4/14812.4 kHz at 1845 UTC. The other station was HZW, link number 00117. This station received traffic on 20091/18196 kHz at 2000 UTC. I have often wondered where these out stations might be located. Recently these two link numbers have appeared in messages transmitted by a Russian communications facility located in Cuba.

As anticipated, THE RED WEB by Soldatov and Borogan numerous interesting facts about Russian monitoring of Internet Communications. The KGB was rearranged in 1991 into several independent security agencies. The biggest one was called the Federal Service of Counter-Intelligence (FSK). Then in 1995 it had the name changed to Federal Security Service (FSB). The previous KGB foreign intelligence component became the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The former KGB division charged with electronic monitoring and cryptography was named the Committee of Government Communications and then renamed Federal Agency for Government Communications (FAPSI). The description of SORM, Systema Operativno-Rozysknoikh Meropriatiy, or in English, System of Operative Search Measures. The title was just a fancy name for Russian Internet eavesdropping! "Black Boxes" were to be installed on all Russian ISPs and they thus connected the Internet provider to the FSB. This enabled the FSB to monitor Email traffic.

The second book I read was CODE WARRIORS by Stephan Budiansky. The sub-title was "NSA's Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union". When Igor Gouzenko defected in Canada where he was the GRU Code Clerk, he indicated various features of the Soviet code used for the GRU messages. One such feature was the use of a spelling table in the code whereby a foreign or Russian word not having a code group equivalent, could be spelled. This was accomplished by using groups that stood for "Begin Spell" and "End Spell". It certainly appears in the two old coded but unenciphered messages I copied years ago (discussed in Report #125) had sections that contain spelled words.

I found the explanations of the activities of the TICOM Teams (Target Intelligence Committee) to be extremely interesting. These teams were sent into Germany at the end of WWII to recover cryptographic materials. One such recovery yielded four trucks of radio and crypto equipment. Another TICOM discovery was the result of information gained during an interview of a German prisoner who had been involved in intercept and crypto work on Russian radio traffic. In the group of captured men were 19 other German soldiers who had worked on that traffic. The group had hid equipment and documents by burying them and when the TICOM personnel were shown the location, it resulted in finding eight tons of crypto equipment.

Other crypto finds included 29 boxes found in a Bavarian lake while dragging for the body of an American GI who drowned and another TICOM team discovered documentation at a former German Foreign Office cryptologic unit in a Naumburg castle. These documents filled 170 steel file cabinets. The material was taken away just before the Russians occupied that area.
Probably not known by the general public, Leon Theremin, inventor of the musical device bearing his name, was a GRU spy. While in the U.S. performing concerts, he reported on aircraft and avionics technology. He designed the "bug" that was hidden in the Great Seal, a gift from the Russians, which was hung on the wall of the U.S. Ambassador's office in the Moscow Embassy.
The 5 appendices contain extremely interesting explanations of a variety of crypto related subjects.

End of Report

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2016 Don Schimmel.