Project 25 Technology Information Group

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Project 25 Technology Information Group

Project 25 Technology Interest Group Releases New Whitepaper:

Project 25 Radio Authentication

The paper was authored by:

Jim Holthaus, Vice President, Chief Technical Officer, BK Technologies

Project 25 radio standards now provide a method of authenticating subscriber radios for operation on P25 trunked radio systems.  This paper explores the need for and functionality of P25 Link Layer Authentication services on trunked radio systems.

For decades, public safety communications system operators were protected from unauthorized access through the restrictions that equipment manufacturers placed on radio programming equipment.  So even if an unauthorized individual had radio equipment and programming software, without the so called ‘system key’, programming a radio for an individual radio system was not possible.  In general, this level of protection works quite well for many public safety agencies.  However, the use of the system key is only as reliable as the methods used to protect unauthorized access to such a key. 

As the technological abilities of those wishing to steal service or disrupt public safety communications systems expand, additional measures to protect unauthorized access to public safety communications systems are required.

Public Safety and government radio users, through the Project 25 Standards process have requested inclusion of additional measures to prohibit unauthorized access to P25 systems.  The Project 25 standard provides this protection through the use of authentication technology.  The Project 25 standard defines a challenge/response system that allows the radio system and/or subscriber radio to authenticate itself before service is granted. 

The full whitepaper on P25 Link Layer Authentication can be found using the link below:


Project 25 Radio Authentication





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