- Dec 27, 2005
- Reaction score
I really don't know much about Link 16 datalink. Here's a picture of a Link 16 display- has anyone researched this area?
I'm curious if one can arbitrarily change the encryption key/generate encryption key on their own for this datalink system without requiring permission from US.
One thing that I don't know (and if I did know of course I could not say; thus I am free to speculate) is how cryptographically secure the hopping sequence is (note that link-16 uses different encryption for hopping (TSEC) and message content (MSEC)). The people who designed Link-16 were plenty smart, but I'm not sure how well they were able to predict the 2020 state of the art in fast cracking (a particular thing which is my speculation regarding the type of generator used for Link-16's pseudorandom hopping sequence).
Obviously anybody with Link-16 hardware and autonomous keymat generation capability can mount a chosen plaintext attack on the hopping sequence. If the sequence is crackable in near realtime, then it is also exploitable for both ELINT and jamming purposes. The frequency dwell time is about 13 usec (more precisely, the hop rate is 77 kHz - I'm too lazy to go back and look up the guard times ) so it is straightforward to create a frequency synthesizer that can match and jam or track it.
You mean allied key management? It's totally up to them. If they wish to share their keys with everyone else there are
formal/encrypted key sharing mechanisms for doing so.
They are free to share network keys for lower privilege networks while reserving higher privilege keys for their
own internal networks. It's how Link-16 was (kinda) designed; segregation by key.