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Cryptovox HC-3300
Secure Crypto Phone

The CRYPTOVOX HC-3300 is a secure telephone set with digital encryption, developed by Crypto AG in Switzerland in the early 1990s. It can be connected to a PSTN line and is suitable for voice, data and facsimile traffic. A smart-card is used for key distribution.

The HC-3300 is housed in a rather heavy die-cast aluminium case which provides sufficient TEMPEST shielding. The unit has two simple key pads with 12 keys each. The rightmost keypad is identical to a common telephone. It has the numbers 0-9 plus * and #.

All of the additional features are controlled via the leftmost keypad. The unit communicates with the user via a simple LCD display. Two LEDs to the right of the display show whether the phone is a plain or crypto mode. A valid key card should be inserted at the right.
  
HC-3300 crypto phone

Secure speech conversations are possible in full-duplex at 2400, 4800 and 9600 baud data rates, depending on the quality of the telephone line. In addition, half-duplex calls are possible at 2400 and 4800 baud. Secure group calls are possible at 2400 baud only. Data and facsimile messages can be sent and received at the same rates, with V.32, V.27 ter and V.22 bis [1].

The HC-3300 can hold 30 communication keys, 3 broadcast keys, 1 structure key and 1 Key Transportation Key (KTK). Each key is 128 bits long, allowing more that 1038 possible keys. It has a key stream period of more than 1028 years.

In 1999, the HC-3300 was still in use by the United Nations (UN) alongside the HC-4220 fax encryptor for the encryption of speech and data via land lines [2]. Apparently, neither the HC-3300 nor the HC-4220 were suitable for communication via HF (radio) or satellite. For a long time, the HC-3300 has been very popular within the governments of some South-American countries such as Mexico and Argentina, until they were decomissioned around 2010.

HC-3300 crypto phone Interior Close-up of the processor and the line interface Card reader

Interior
The image on the right shows the interior of the HC-3300 after removing the top cover. Several PCBs are visible, such as the main processor, the line interface, the interface to the contol panel and the card reader at the bottom right.

All cryptographic components are hidden in a metal enclosure below the main PCBs. Images of the crypto unit will be published on this page as and when they become available.
  
Close-up of the processor and the line interface

Help required
At present we don't know the operating procedure of this phone, but it seems likely that it can not be operated without a valid key (card) installed. Generation of such keys is usually done by means of a Key Management Center (KMC). To date, we have not found a way to enter the key manually. If you can provide more information or a user manual, please contact us.

References
  1. Jane's Military Communications, HC-3300 digitally ciphered telephone

  2. SHIRBRIG, Lessons Learned
    Multinational Standby High Readiness Brigade for United Nations Operations. 1 June 2009.
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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Sunday, 21 August 2011 - 14:53 CET.
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