Bulk data encryptor
The 8045 family of devices were bulk data encryptors,
developed and built by Inter-Elektronik AG
in Zug (Switzerland) around 1989. They were intended for sending
facsimile messages and ASCII computer data via serial RS-232
lines at any speed between 300 and 38,400 baud. 1
There were several design variants of the 8045 that
mainly involved differences in the unit's firmware. The actual
use of the device was specified by a three-letter prefix to the
module number (see the models listed below).
The image on the right shows a typical CCD-8045 that was used
for encrypting ASCII data from a computer's serial RS-232 port.
At the front panel are 6 indicator LEDs plus a black push-button
that is used to report and reset any errors. The current mode
of operation is set
with the physical 4-position key/lock at the right.
In the image above, the device is shown in the
In the upper position (LOAD)
the unit is ready to receive a valid
encryption key (via the RS232 interface). Once the key is set, the
unit should be set to 'CIPHER'. In this mode the upstream and downstream
data is fully encrypted. In case of an emergency, the keys can be
purged (zeroized) by setting the key to 'CLEAR' (down).
Each unit has a sophisticated built-in key generator and full
built-in diagnostics (SELFTEST).
All connections are at the rear of the unit. Two 25-way female
type sub-D sockets are used for connecting a computer (top) and
the data line (bottom) using the built-in V.24 interface.
The unit is powered by a built-in 220V/50 Hz power supply unit (PSU)
that has its connection at the rear.
The maximum speed of the CCD-8045 is 38400 baud, whereas the
DCE-8045 (X.25) supports 69.6 Kbps and the FCU-8045 (Fax) runs
at 19.2 Kbps. In general, the speed is limited by the data protocol
or transmission standard used in the application.
The follow design variants are currently known:
- DCE-8045 - Digital Cipher Unit
This unit is intended for the encryption and decryption of
electronic mail (e-mail) and is inserted between the computer
and the modem. It offers a military-grade stream-type cipher
and allows the operator to quickly select between CLEAR and CIPHER
modes. Data rates up to 69.6 Kbps are supported in both synchronous
and asynchronous modes, using the X.25 packet protocol .
- FCU-8045 - Facsimile Cipher Unit
This variant is designed especially for the protection of
facsimile messages (fax) and was used in the days when fax
machines used an external modem. The FCU-8045 is inserted
between the fax and the modem and is suitable for CCITT Group 3
equipment. The V.24 serial interface allows sychronous data
transfers at speeds up to 19.2 Kbps .
- CCD-8045 - Computer Cipher Device
This version of the 8045 encryption/decryption unit is
designed for the protection of plain RS-232 connections,
without taking the underlying protocol into account (as the
two other versions above do). The unit is suitable for data
rates between 300 and 38,400 baud with full flow control (RTS/CTS
or XON/XOFF). The data rate of the computer and the modem can be set
indepdently, so that the unit can also be used as an interspeeder.
The CCD-8045 is a fairly compact unit that consists of a
single eurocard printed circuit board (PCB) of 10 x 16 cm,
that is built inside a standard metal enclosure.
All controls are at the front (including the key-operated
mode selector), whilst data and power connections are at the rear.
The unit measures only 112 x 222 x 64 mm and weights approximately
2 kg including its metal enclosure. The DCE-8045 is a bit
smaller (145 x 220 x 32 mm) and weights just 1 kg.
The PCB can easily be accessed by removing one of the shells of
the case. This is done by removing the 4 screws from the sides.
Lifting the upper shell reveals the components side of the PCB
as shown in the image on the right.
The power supply unit (PSU) is housed in the pre-fabricated black
rectangular module at the center. It is show here with a white lable
holding the legend to the various DIP-switches. The mains filter
and socket at the top right. The two 25-way sub-D female sockets
are located at the bottom right, to the right of the DIP switches.
To the left of the PSU is the Z80 microprocessor, the firmware
and the RAM memory. At the far left, barely visible in the image
above, is the vertically mounted front panel PCB that plugs into the
main board via a small DIN connector.
According to the label on the EPROM this unit
was made in 1989. At the bottom left of the PCB is a dedicated
hardware-based AM9518PC ciphering processor
made by AMD. It allows data to be encrypted and decrypted at 1.3 MBps,
using the National Bureau of Standards standard data encryption
- Algorithm: Data Encryption Standard (DES), National Bureau of Standards
- Concept: Block cipher with built-in Electronic Key Generator
- Period: > 1017
- System key: > 7·1016
- Message key: > 2·1019
- Random key: > 7·1016
- Number of key compartments: 256
- RS-232, CCITT V.24
- Current loop 20mA
- Modem 7
- X.25 (optional)
As the manufacturer of this unit,
is no longer in business, it is difficult to find background information
about their equipment and their use. If you have any further
information about this unit or its manufacturer,
or if you have any experience in using this
unit or similar units, please contact us.
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 15 July 2013. Last changed: Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 11:54 CET.