The FASCINATOR series of Secure Voice Modules (SVM's) is a line of embedded cryptographic devices that can be installed in existing Motorola digital capable radio products and other compatible radios. It is a commercially developed, off-the-shelf device.
Proper installation of FASCINATOR enables a radio to be used for classified voice transmissions. The design provides for secure voice communications, while maintaining a plain text capability. The manufacturer produces the FASCINATOR as a product line of eight secure voice modules capable of being direct plug-in replacements for the DES module. The FASCINATOR devices are half duplex, 12 kbps serial encryption devices that operate in the synchronous mode. Installation of this device in compatible Motorola radios will require the use of a Security Interface Box and a KOI-18 or KYK-13 for keying. Other radio configuration may have different keying requirements. When used with appropriately classified keys, the system is approved for the transmission of all classifications and categories of voice.
The SVM's are direct plug-in replacements for Motorola's Data Encryption Standard (DES) modules only. They are available for hand-held portable, mobile, and fixed equipment. The key for the FASCINATOR equipment is supplied as punched tape and is normally packaged in five segments, three copies of each, in plastic canisters. The marking, safe-guarding, and control of classified key tapes and all key tapes marked CRYPTO is in accordance with COMSEC Material System (CMS).
Key Insertion - In order to load the key into FASCINATOR equipment, a Security Interface Box (SIB) is attached to the key fill connector via a cable. Key is supplied as punched tape. It can be pulled through a KOI-18 tape reader and into the SIB or it can be loaded into a KYK-13 and then into the SIB electronically.
Crypto Period - The crypto period for the FASCINATOR equipment is 7 days. Each COMSEC controlling authority establishes a standard time and day of the week when the new segment for each net will be put into use. The controlling authority can authorize emergency crypto period extensions of an additional week for mobile communications due to operational or logistical considerations. Cryptoperiod extensions in excess of 7 days or emergency extensions can be approved on a case-by-case basis by the CMC.
Cryptonet Size - Cryptonets are kept as small as operationally feasible. Generally, small cryptonets narrow the exposure of individual editions of keying material, limit the consequences of keying material compromised in terms of vulnerable communications, and lessens the problems associated with resupply. In order to maximize security and enforce need-to-know, it is advisable that key distribution be limited to users within the same community of interest. As a Controlled Cryptographic Item (CCI), FASCINATOR requires normal COMSEC Material System (CMS) handling and accountability.
Secure Voice Module (SVM) - - The SVM is subject to procedure ALC-2 and requires accountability by quantity. When installed, the communications equipment which houses the SVM, requires continuous accountability by serial number (procedure ALC-1). It is recommended that the presence of such equipment be verified at least monthly. To facilitate serial number accounting of the FASCINATOR product line, a separate serial numbered stick-on label is packaged with each module.
KOI-18, KYK-13, and Security Interface Box (SIB) - The KOI-18, a general purpose tape reader; the KYK-13, electronic keying device; and the SIB, the interface box between a key loader and the FASCINATOR product, are unclassified CCI's subject to ALC-2. When filled, the KYK-13 assumes the classification of the key.
The production or use of locally produced keying material for use with the FASCINATOR is strictly prohibited. All keying material is requested from DCMS. A minimum 120 day interval is required after a request for delivery of keying material. In cases where multiple commands procure FASCINATOR devices, and interoperable keying material is required, the senior command will automatically be designated as the controlling authority. When unkeyed, the FASCINATOR product line is unclassified CCI and is protected in accordance with procedure CMS-4. When the equipment is keyed, it assumes the classification of the key and is protected accordingly. It is unclassified for purposes of external viewing.
The Department of the Navy will not perform any central maintenance/repair of the FASCINATOR secure voice module. As a commercially developed, off-the-shelf COMSEC device, there is no logistic support in place within DoD. Users are responsible for negotiating and funding for appropriate warranties and maintenance contracts for user procured hardware. All maintenance actions are coordinated through the CMS custodian, since verification of clearance and certification of the repairman as a COMSEC technician is required before the maintenance representative can be permitted access to the hardware.
The Motorola FASCINATOR secure voice module is endorsed and approved for use with the MCX-100, NX 300, Portable Repeater, SABER, SPECTRA, SYNTOR X-9000, SYNTO X-9000 E, Console Interface Unit, and SPECTRA Mobile SVMS.
This product is available from Motorola, Inc. The price ranges from $495 for hand-held to $1200 for portable repeaters.
1) Excerpts from Marine Corps 2231.2 dated 31 Aug 89 and updated in 1996.
Back To Menu Page