Criminal Complaint Filed

During routine audits of our internal security systems, Hamshack Hotline became aware that on multiple occasions a third-party attempted to gain access to the Hamshack Hotline system by attempting to pirate other peoples amateur radio callsigns. However, our internal security policies detected that the individual was using pirated callsigns and was not the licensed operator listed on the callsign license. As a result, they were promptly stopped and denied access to the Hamshack Hotline system.

We take the security and integrity of our system very seriously. Therefore, we want to assure our users that appropriate measures have been taken in response to these repeated incidents. A criminal complaint has now been filed with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to address this matter. 

The following are but just some of the crimes we reported in our complaint:

 - Unlawful use of another's FCC amateur ID - 

 - Unlawful attempts to gain access to an online system using fake or stolen identities

 - Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA): This federal law makes it illegal to access a computer system without authorization or to exceed authorized access. Using a fake ID to gain access to a computer system is considered unauthorized access under this law.

 - Identity Theft: Identity theft violates federal and/or state identity theft laws. These laws generally prohibit using false identities to deceive others for financial gain or other unlawful purposes, such as unauthorized access to computer systems.

 - Wire Fraud: Attempting to gain unlawful access to a computer system using a fake ID could potentially constitute wire fraud if it involves the use of electronic communications (such as emails or online messages) to carry out the fraudulent activity.

 - Forgery: Using a fake ID itself could constitute forgery, which is the act of falsely creating or altering a document with the intent to deceive others.
 - Violation of California Penal Code Section 502, which covers unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction of computer data or systems. Under this law, it is illegal to knowingly access a computer system or network without permission or in excess of one's authorization. This includes using false identities or credentials to gain access.

 - Violation of the Computer Related Offenses Act, found in Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, specifically N.J.S.A. 2C:20-25. This law prohibits various computer-related offenses, including unauthorized access to computer systems. Similar to California law, it is illegal in New Jersey to access a computer system or network without authorization or in excess of one's authorization, which would include using false identities or credentials to gain access.

We understand that these incidents may be concerning to our users, and we want to assure you that we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of security for our users. 

Hamshack Hotline will not tolerate pirate users or hack attempts to access our system and will work closely with all appropriate law enforcement agencies, regardless of country, to prosecute the offenders. 

February 2023 News!

As February draws close to an end, Hamshack Hotline has a few announcements for our users.

First, we are announcing a new supported endpoint. The Polycom VVX-350 is now the latest in our lineup of supported endpoints that can be used on the HH network and can be auto-provisioned!

Also, with the generous help of many HH users who are also AllStar node owners, we have found a solution to the annoying sms messages that are being broadcast from many of the AllStar nodes that have RF 94xxx extensions with us.

These sms messages may not actually be displayed on your phones screen, depending on your settings, but a lot of newer model phones that are “SMS RFC-Compliant” will drop calls after receiving an sms, anywhere between 30 and 45 seconds into the call.

The reason is not important. What is important is that, with the help of you, our user base, we now have a solution and will make sure new RF stations are compliant before being issued an RF extension with us. We will also be working with the current RF extension holders that are broadcasting sms beacons, to help them correct the issue so no more calls get dropped.

We ask that you please be patient with this last process as tracking down all the current owners of nodes transmitting sms beacons on HH connections will be pretty time consuming.

Bill, de KG6BAJ
Senior Engineer.

Welcome 2023 !

Well, it’s a new year and we have new things happening. At the top of the list we now officially support the Polycom VVX410 model phone. At the end of last year we added a few more supported endpoints as well and we are always looking to add more models to our supported endpoint lineup.

Next, some of you may have seen the new 84xxx extension numbers that are now being assigned to a new release of RF devices, called “Arduino”. Before Arduino we only had the capability to add AllStar nodes to our RF lineup, as they were Asterisk based systems and merged into our PBX system very gracefully.

To understand Arduino, think of it more like running an EchoLink node, where you have a computer with an internet connection running the EchoLink software, and some sort of radio control box, like maybe a Rig-Blaster. Hooked to one side of the Rig-Blaster box was a cable running to the computer, and on the other side was a cable running to the transmitter mic & audio ports.

With Arduino, you can use a standard ATA VOIP unit, like a Cisco SPA-112, or SPA-2102 and do the same thing. The Arduino controller box would wire into the transmitter, and also plug into the ATA’s RJ-11 phone port. When a user calls the RF extension number of the ATA device, the Arduino unit can pull the line “off hook” and answer the call.

One of the more exciting features of the Arduino setup, is that depending on certain model radios, you can also use DTMF to change channels in the radio. So if your radio supported different bands, using DTMF, you could select one channel that might be a two-meter repeater channel or select a different channel that was a 70-centimeter channel. And if your radio had 50 channels programmed into it, callers now can use any of those 50 channels. Amazing to say the least.

We also have some new support staff coming on board to help ensure we can handle support tickets as fast as possible. We know a bunch of you must have gotten new voip phones for Christmas and can’t wait to get your new extension number!

As we introduce more and more features to the system, look for them to be announced here. We look forward to hearing from each of you soon.

73, de Bill, KG6BAJ