Good Signal Intelligence Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Communication, Intelligence, Signal, Security, Information, Enemy, System, Radio

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/09/15

Communication Security (ComSec)

Communication security is an important section of modern telecommunication systems where signal intelligences and other methods are used to provide secure communication among peers to be connected. Signal intelligence falls into the category of cryptography where the encrypted signal is collected and analyzed for propagating secure communication. This research work will explain the requirements of communication security and will discuss how signal intelligence can be used in communication security. These solutions can be used practically in communication security of the military services.
Signal intelligence is introduced and evolved by military services where signals from foreign communication systems are observed and analyzed . Signal intelligence has found its applications in the military services and it has become an important component of the battlefield today.
The rest of the document is formulated as follows. Next two sections will explain the basic concepts of communication security and signal intelligence. In the coming sections, we will explain common threats faced by communication system and their possible solutions while using signal intelligence.

Communication Security

Communication security is the field of keeping unapproved interceptors from getting to the information in a clear structure, while conveying information to the proposed receivers. In the United States Department of Defense culture, it is generally abbreviated as COMSEC. The field incorporates transmission security, cryptosecurity and physical security of COMSEC gear.
COMSEC is utilized to ensure both classified and unclassified movement on military communication systems, including many modes like video, voice and data. It is utilized for both wired and remote connections, and both analog and digital applications.
Voice over secure internet protocol VOSIP has proven to be the true standard for securing voice communication, supplanting the requirement for Secure Terminal Equipment (STE) in a great part of the U.S. Department of Defense. USCENTCOM moved totally to VOSIP in 2008. COMSEC equipment is designed to provide security to the telecommunication using cryptography.

Communication Security has following major fields:

Cryptosecurity: The field of communication security that is related with the accessibility of highly trusted cryptosystems and their authentic use. This doesn’t only include the confidentiality, but its authenticity as well.
Emission Security: The assurance that is possible with the help of all measures taken to preclude unapproved personal data that may be obtained from communication frameworks and cryptographic gear intercepts and investigation of trading off transmissions from cryptographic tools, data frameworks, and telecommunication systems
Transmission Security: It is the field of communication security that results with the help of applications that are specifically designed to ensure the the transmissions from getting intercepted and exploited by other ways from cryptoanalysis like frequency hopping.
Physical Security: The part of communication security that results from all physical actions important to protect characterized equipment, material, and records from access of unapproved persons.
The most protected form of communication is through cable which can be over land or underwater. Correspondences or different signs transmitted through such links can't be grabbed out of the air. Interception of data from cable has included physically tapping of the links or utilizing "induction" gadgets that are set in the vicinity of the links and upkeep of equipment at the time of access. This may not be possible because of hardened and ensured internal landlines, the kind of landline that conveys much high-priority, secret commands and control interchanges. Undersea links are most defenseless since the messages transmitted by them are then transmitted by microwave hand-off once the link achieves land.

Signal intelligence that is often abbreviated as SIGINT is the technique that is used to gather signals by intercepting. It can be communication between humans which is known to be communication intelligence abbreviated as COMINT. Other form can be the interception from electronic signals known as ELINT. Signal intelligence is the sub-domain of intelligence collection management. As delicate data is mostly encrypted signals intelligence frequently includes the utilization of cryptanalysis to decode the messages. Traffic analysis is the investigation of people communicating with each other and the amount of data shared is additionally used to determine information.
History: the interception of the encrypted written information started soon after the evolution of writing. For example, Caesar Cipher is the basic encryption system
The interception for electronic signals started during the Boer Wars in early 1900. Some of the British radios were captured by the Boers and as no other country was transmitting other than Britain hence it was easy to interpret the transmission.
It has been observed that signal intelligence caused serious threats even in peacetimes. Events like USS Liberty Incwident, USS Pueblo incident and shooting down of flight 60528 has involved loss of lives.

SIGINT has five major sub-domains classified as:

COMINT: By its name one can assume that it is the intelligence obtained by intercepting the communication of foreign governments or groups and then processing and analyzing it. It can be encrypted or plain transmission like voice or Morse Codes. Commonly the information gathered with the help of COMINT is the diplomatic communication from nations all over the world to their diplomatic establishments.
ELINT: is the electronic intelligence gathered from the electronic signals other than the communication signals. For example, ELINT was used in WWII in order to locate the radars with the help of signals emitted by them. The information required for electronic intelligence is signal strength, frequency and pulse lengths etc.
RADINT: Radar intelligence is similar to electronic intelligence in which no electronic signal is intercepted from any other object but signals are transmitted by the radar itself and then information is gathered by receiving the same deflected signal. Intelligence that can be obtained include trajectory, flight paths, maneuvering and angle of descent.
Non-imaging Infrared: is the intelligence obtained with the help of change in temperature. One can detect the absence or presence of any object or its motion with the help of non-imaging infrared intelligence

LASINT: laser intelligence is the sub-domain that gathers information from the interception of laser transmissions.

Above explained techniques can be used in signal intelligence in order to analyze enemy transmission. Different techniques can be applied in different circumstances and a hybrid combination of these techniques can also be used. In order to have a brief introduction of real time issues of communication system, we have explained some common threats to be faced by the communication system in battlefield and possible solutions offered by signal intelligence are also explained.

Common Threats to Communication System

Communication system can face many challenges in the form of threats which include physical as well as logical attacks to the system. In this section, we will explain such common threats faced by the communication system. Communication security can have problems of external interruption, detection, monitoring or collection of secure information with the help of wireless signals. Signal intelligence involves collection of data which can be used for the benefits of a country after analyzing data with the help of signal intelligence tools as described in the above section. Signal intelligence can cover the communication going on wireless channels and it cannot be used for wired communication. Signal intelligence will also fail to work in an environment when enemy conducts an operation in radio silence where no radio transmission is used for communicating among different enemy groups. Geographical locations and terrain conditions also affect the performance of proper signal detection to be used by signal intelligence. Another main and common issue of signal intelligence is encrypted or cyphered signal used by the enemy. Such signals are to be deciphered in order to get useful information .
Most common threats faced by signal intelligence are detection of wireless communication devices by the enemy, communication, monitoring, false communication, involvement in actual communication and creating noise in the communication medium between two entities. Detection of wireless communication devices can be used to find the location and identity of communicating entity. Communication monitoring can be used to extract useful information in terms of future plans and actions of the enemy along with the current status of logistics and capabilities. False communication, involvement can be used to distract the enemy from actual intentions and can be used to fail the actual plan. Noise creation or interrupting the communication medium can help to break the communication medium between enemy lines and can significantly affect the performance of enemy operations. Interrupting the communication medium with the help of noise is considered an easiest section of utilizing signal intelligence in communication security for damaging communication system of the enemy. For that purpose, electronic attacks are used. It must be kept in mind that both electronic attack and signal intelligence can’t be used at the same time. Electronic attack can ruin the signal to be used for signal intelligence and therefore there must be coordination between both operations .

Solution to Threats with the help of Signal Intelligence

Signal intelligence is the analysis of captured signal in order to get useful information hidden in the signal. In order to reveal such hidden information, deciphering or the decryption techniques are used as explained in the above sections. Some common threats faced by communication security are explained in the previous section. Signal intelligence can be used both for creating these threats as well as to overcome such issues in communication systems. Encryption and decryption techniques have been used for past few years in order to deal such issues of network security and communication security. Redundant bits are required in order to provide a high level of security for transmitting information that increases the overhead on actual data significantly. This overhead can be reduced with the help of signal intelligence by sending minimum required redundant or overhead bits with actual data.
Signal intelligence is used for finding the location of the signal emitting entity with the help of intercepting the wireless signal. It is also used for future threat detection by locating the position of aircrafts or military convoy and can be used as a replacement of a radar system in some cases.
It is recommended to military personals to avoid extra communication through wireless channels in order to prevent from the vulnerabilities caused by signal intelligence. Enemy signals can be used to locate their position and find useful information from their communication.


Communication security is a common issue of today’s telecommunication networks and it faces several types of vulnerabilities while securely transmitting data from one place to another. Many possible solutions have been proposed for providing optimal communication security for telecom networks. Signal intelligence is a famous solution to the problem which deals with communication security while analyzing signal encryption and decryption techniques. This research work has explained the working of such techniques used by signal intelligence. Common threats to communication security and their solution provided by signal intelligence are explained in this paper.


Agency, National Security. Signals Intelligence. Jan 15, 2009.
Rhodes, J. E. Signals Intelligence. US Marine Corps , 1999.
Steve Topletz, Jonathon Logan, Kyle Williams. "Realistic Probabilities In Modern Signals Intelligence." n.d.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Signals Intelligence and Cyber Reconnaissance Infrastructure. Project 2049 Institute, 2011.

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