Scout Encryption Capability Guide

Introduction

Encryption in Scout includes the process of transforming clear audio to encoded audio to send to the field and the reverse, transforming encrypted audio to clear audio to present to the dispatcher. When two subscriber units engage in an encrypted conversation and the dispatcher is monitoring the group’s conversation, Scout decrypts the audio for the dispatcher to understand.

Encryption is the process of encoding audio so that only radios or consoles with the matching key and encryption algorithm can decode and present the audio to the user. Encryption prevents unauthorized listeners from eavesdropping on a conversation. Even if an eavesdropper is listening to a Scout-supported frequency, the listener does not hear intelligible information from an encrypted signal without using the matching key.

Scout offers software-based encryption for P25, Icom IDAS Multi-Site Trunking, Kenwood NEXEDGE, and MOTOTRBO™ Capacity Max, Connect Plus, IP Site Connect, and Multi-Site Capacity Plus systems. Within Scout, VPGate is the component that stores all encryption keys, encrypts the audio before transmission, and when the matching key is provided, decrypts incoming encrypted audio.

Scout's encryption technology conforms to the following standards:

  • DES (Data Encryption Standard) – Published in 1977, this standard was influential in the advancement of modern cryptography. Scout supports DES for P25 and Kenwood NEXEDGE.
  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) – Established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2001. This standard supersedes DES. Scout supports AES for P25, Icom IDAS Multi-Site Trunking, Kenwood NEXEDGE, and MOTOTRBO™ Capacity Max and IP Site Connect radios.
  • Enhanced Privacy – Exclusive to Motorola's MOTOTRBO™ radio systems. Scout supports Enhanced Privacy for Capacity Max, Connect Plus, IP Site Connect, and Multi-Site Capacity Plus systems.