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Lectrosonics Adds Encryption to its Duet System via Firmware Update

FOH Staff • New Gear • September 10, 2019

Lectrosonics announced that its new “X” firmware version allows AES 256-bit CTR mode encryption for existing and new Duet systems.

More details from Lectrosonics (www.lectrosonics.com):

Lectrosonics is introducing new “X” firmware for the award-winning Duet IEM/IFB system which adds AES 256-bit CTR encryption. The addition of encryption is in response to customer demand for a data-secure version of the Duet for corporate, sports, and government client applications. Since analog IFB and IEM systems cannot be encrypted, this new additional feature makes the Duet system truly unique. The TRNG (True Random Number Generator) used for key generation passes all NIST SP 800-22 statistical tests for randomness. Four different encryption key policies are now available with the update, including the Universal Key policy, Shared key policy, Standard key policy and Volatile key policy – depending upon level of the specific application, and level of security desired.

Details of the four different encryption key policies available in the “X” firmware include:

The Universal key policy provides the most convenient option and is the default setting on Duet-X transmitters and receivers. A unique key is not generated for each situation, but the basic encryption prevents someone with a scanner and digital demodulator from decoding the audio.

The Shared key policy is useful when multiple transmitters and receivers all need to be connected, but require more security than the Universal type, for instance in sports coverage. Once a shared key is generated by the M2T-X and transferred to an M2R-X receiver pack, the key is then available to be shared by the receiver with other transmitters and receivers via their IR ports, making this a flexible tool.

The Standard key policy involves creating a unique key in the M2T-X that is then shared with its receiver packs but cannot be shared transmitter to transmitter or receiver to transmitter. This makes it possible to control the use of key material sufficiently that no key material is ever reused, making differential attacks impossible.

Finally, the Volatile key policy is available for the highest level of security. With this policy in place, they key is never stored anywhere except RAM (random access memory). If power is cycled or batteries are changed in the receiver pack, the key must be re-sent from the transmitter. If the power is cycled in the transmitter, a new key must be generated and sent to the receiver packs.

The “X” firmware with encryption is an “either-or” firmware load for the Duet M2T and M2R units. This way, the units cannot be booted up into a non-encrypted mode once they have this firmware version. Only by re-loading standard, non-encrypted firmware into the units can they be used in a non-encrypted fashion. Two M2R features that are no longer available in the X version are analog IFB compatibility and Flexlist. Wireless Designer software, now available native for Mac or PC, is used to manage the firmware updating process for the Duet system.

“Encryption is a powerful tool and has been requested more and more by our clients in the past few years.” says Karl Winkler, VP of Sales & Marketing for Lectrosonics. “We’re looking forward to learning all the ways our customers might take advantage of this new feature.”

The M2T-X and M2R-X firmware is now available for existing Duet systems, downloadable on the Lectrosonics web site at https://www.lectrosonics.com/Support/category/96-firmware.html Customers wishing to order the Duet system with the X version pre-loaded may request it at the time of order.

 

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