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Security



Security is always a difficult issue.  In an ideal world, none would be 
needed.  Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in.  There are people 
out there, some hams included, that find some perverse enjoyment in 
disrupting things if they can figure out how to do it.  Sometimes, these 
disruptions are just minor little things.  But there is also the potential 
for disaster.

Security comes in layers.  The command codes are kept secret.  The keys to 
getting the system to accept the codes in the first place are kept 
secret.  But even if you somehow managed to obtain these things, you would 
still need to know the internal wiring and physical arrangement of things 
before you could make anything other than random use of this data.  So this 
is also a layer of security that is kept secret.  Only those who need to 
know (mostly the command station operators) have this information.  I would 
like to think that this is the way *you* would like it to be.

Some people think they have some of this information and, on rare occasion, 
they really do.  As you have seen, the people who post messages on this BB 
who think they have some of the pieces do not hesitate to post that 
information.  Do not expect the control operators to either deny or confirm 
this speculation, ever.  You will only be disappointed.  It's normal for 
people to wonder about these things.  And this BB is probably as good a 
place to ask questions and speculate as any.  But please don't get after 
the control operators for not participating.

The issue of "opensource" always has a boundary which interfaces with the 
issue of security.  From the standpoint of the hardware, there have been 
numerous articles and papers published on many of the various modules.  In 
some cases they were quite detailed.  In other cases, it was necessary to 
omit some detail for security reasons.  From the standpoint of the 
software, James Miller - G3RUH (one of the control operators) published a 
book on IPS (the IHU operating system).  So, for most of you, there is 
quite a lot of information available that you may not have studied yet.  A 
few of you have probably studied all this material and want more.  This is 
normal and good!  Hopefully, the future will see many articles and papers 
published about each and every piece of P3D.  And hopefully for years to 
come, with the dedication and skill of the control operators and support 
from the rest of us, there will also be articles and papers published about 
how to use the satellite and how much fun it is!

Thanks for reading this far.
Chuck - N0ADI 

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