New Technology Solves Security Issue
In Wireless Communications
Los Angeles – New technology that provides
powerful security protection for wireless computer networks, cell phones and
other radio communications has been developed by Robert Gold Comm Systems.
The company is headed by Dr. Robert Gold, an
internationally known expert in coding algorithms and developer of the Gold
Codes used in the Global Positioning System (GPS) network. Dr. Gold also oversaw
signal design for NASA’s satellite-based tracking and data relay systems.
The new Gold Algorithm was developed under contract to the
U.S. Air Force. It is designed to be integrated into the spread spectrum or
frequency hopping systems widely used for wireless communications, such as
“Wi-Fi” computer networks, cellular phones and two-way radios used by the
military, police, firefighters, ambulances and commercial fleets.
Although very convenient for users, wireless communication
is extremely vulnerable to eavesdropping. Wireless computer networks, for
example, are frequently accessed by hackers or even innocent bypassers whose
laptop computers link up with the network.
The security of these networks can be increased by
encrypting the data, but encryption is complex, inconvenient and time-consuming
for users, and adds a significant amount of overhead information that reduces
In spread spectrum or frequency hopping networks now in
wide use, data is protected by rapidly changing the frequency over which the
transmission is sent, among the hundreds of frequencies over which the
transmitter hops. The pattern of these changes, which can occur hundreds or
thousands of times per second, must be known by a receiver in order for it to
synchronize to the hopping pattern of the transmitter and establish
communication. An intruder without knowledge of the synchronization pattern
would not be able to intercept the communication, and may not even be aware
communication is taking place.
However, spread spectrum networks have a major
vulnerability. Information about this sync pattern must be sent to authorized
receivers. Often sync information is based on an external clock or other
information that must be communicated “in the clear,” or unprotected. If an
intruder intercepts this information, the security of the network is
THE RGCS SOLUTION
Robert Gold Comm Systems has developed a breakthrough
self-synchronizing technique that provides secure messaging in wireless
communications system. The patented technology, available for licensing, permits
transmitters and receivers in a spread spectrum environment to rapidly and
automatically synchronize their frequency hopping patterns without the need for
external clocks or for “in the clear” transmission of the sync information.
Benefits of the Gold Algorithm include:
Highly secure communication without the overhead of encryption
Selective addressability of receivers, individually or in groups, so
receivers on the network can instantly be included or excluded for specific
Highly efficient utilization of bandwidth
Immediate access (no dialup or connect delay)
Random access; receivers can
enter the network at any time
Resistance to interference
The RGCS technology offers important competitive
advantages to manufacturers of wireless local area computer networks (WLANs),
including Wi-Fi installations and virtual private networks (VPNs); cell
phones; military, police and civilian radio systems; satellite TV networks;
voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) systems and other technologies that
require secure, efficient use of broadcast spectrum.
The Gold Algorithm is designed to be incorporated into
enhanced versions of existing products, many of which already include circuitry
that can be adapted to implement the technology. (For this reason, RGCS has no
plans to manufacture its own chips incorporating the algorithm.)
HOW THE TECHNOLOGY WORKS
In a spread spectrum communications system, a transmission
hops among numerous frequencies many times per second – for example, it might
hop among 128 frequencies 1,024 times per second.
When using the RGCS technology, each receiver is set to
monitor one of these 128 frequencies. As a receiver detects “hits” or bursts of
data on its frequency, the Gold Algorithm uses the time intervals between the
hits to derive sync information. The output of the algorithm is used to
synchronize the hopping pattern of the receiver with that of the transmitter, so
normal communication can take place.
The synchronization occurs automatically, without users
having to enter passwords or take any action at all.
Because the Gold Algorithm processes the sync information
very rapidly, the hopping pattern can be changed very often during the course of
a transmission. As a result, brute-force attacks aimed at decoding the hopping
pattern would be pointless, since the pattern would have been changed long
before a decoding effort could be successful.
Communication to each receiver is enabled or blocked
simply by switching on or off the transmission of signals on the frequency the
receiver monitors. This enables users to create networks that are both secure
and very flexible.
In a police department’s radio network, for example, a
dispatcher could communicate privately with one patrol car without distracting
other officers from their activities. At a crime scene, officers could instantly
create an ad hoc network that would include those at the scene and selected
supervisors at headquarters, and would exclude officers busy with other duties.
The Gold Algorithm supports CDMA (code-division multiple
access), FMHA (frequency hopping multiple access) and UWB (ultra wide band)
spread spectrum communication systems.
APPLICATIONS OF RGCS TECHNOLOGY
Potential applications of the Gold Algorithm include
highly secure versions of wireless computer networks; cell phones; dispatch
radio communications for police, ambulance and commercial purposes; military
field radios; covert agent and downed pilot communications; “smart” broadcast
and satellite delivery of video, audio and data with real-time authorization of
receivers; control of remotely piloted vehicles and other devices, among other
“This technology offers important advantages to manufacturers of a wide range of
products, and important benefits to the users of those products,” said Dr. Gold.
“As a software-based solution, it provides manufacturers
with very significant performance improvements and product differentiation
without requiring major redesign of existing products. For the users of these
products, benefits include always-on robust security, without the need for
passwords or indeed any other intervention by the user.”
ABOUT ROBERT GOLD COMM SYSTEMS
Robert Gold Comm Systems, Inc., was founded to develop and
commercialize a self-synchronizing technology to provide security and increased
functionality for spread spectrum communications. The company, located in Los
Angeles, is headed by Dr. Robert Gold, who for more than 30 years has made major
contributions to the theory, design, and analysis of coded communication
systems, and is an internationally recognized authority in this field.
Dr. Gold’s achievements include code design for the Air
Force Global Positioning System (GPS), the NASA Tracking and Data Relay
Satellite System (TDRSS) and the Navy FLEETSATCOM. He has authored many
classified and unclassified publications in the field of coded communications.
He is perhaps best known for his invention of the “Gold Codes.”
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Note to editors:
Click here to view a Powerpoint
presentation on the RGCS technology
Auerbach & Co., Inc.