Got your number

Those whom have read this blog from its beginnings will know one of my passions  is in cryptography.  A large proportion of my shelf is taken up with books on the topic and it of course includes all the important tomes from Applied Cryptography, Crypto, Practical Cryptography and the classic work of pseudo-fiction Cryptonomicon.  I have also counted myself fortunate to work with some of the finer minds on topics of cryptography and commercial encryption.

Thanks to a recent phone call from London I have had a chance to renew an interest in Number Stations  as part of another project.

My first experience of number stations was as a small lad. I stumbled across a broadcast on an AM radio and I sat entranced and frankly a little scared by the constant drone and nursery rhyme tunes of the Lincoln poacher at the time I had no idea what I was listening to and this was well before the Internet and Janet hadnt even been out on a first date.

Fast forward many years to the present and you can find history, information and a large number of recordings to download and replay to experience number stations. Thanks to the Conet  project recordings of Shortwave Number Stations IRD059 you can access a large collection of Number Station content an extract of which is below.

Lincoln Poacher

You can also follow the numbers of the Ready Ready station via Twitter.

As of today no one has conclusively proved the content or the value of the number stations and whilst much can be assumed to the purpose of them it is tough speculation without access to the one time pads which are believed to be in use with this particular level of encryption.

What is  known are the general  locations for these broadcasts which have included.




Washington DC

Whilst their purpose and messages are not understood ( except of course by the intended recipients ) the  continued presence on the airwaves lends itself to an excellent source of material for writers of all good fiction.

Thanks for reading.

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