[aprssig] Universal APRS messaging

Gregory A. Carter gcarter at openaprs.net
Sun Oct 19 19:26:49 EDT 2008

Unfortunately no one can prevent another from buying a HAM radio and using
it for malicious intent.  Same goes for APRS, and when someone is detected
abusing the service typically HAM's pull together find the abuser and report
them.  OpenAPRS validates HAM's based on their callsign and then locks their
abiility to send messages to only the callsign they signed up with.  I'd be
happy to open up the autentication system to act as some sort of OpenID
system that works for APRS-IS servers as well but that is up to the powers
that be.  I've never been unapproachable about things.

The responsibility can't be placed on the "web developers" for an inherent
flaw in the teir server software, we've done the best we can to prevent
abuse but as you stated below it is an imperfect system.  All messages,
objects and position reports are logged that come from OpenAPRS so tracking
abuse to an IP address is simply an email away.  The true responsibility for
this issue lies with the APRS-IS server operators however, as stated before
I'd be happy to assist with an OpenID sort of standard.



On Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 4:01 PM, Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> wrote:

> There is nothing wrong with WinLink's validation, or OpenAPRS, or
> findU's, the original APRS IS scheme, or even the old NOS BBS's you
> could telnet to (the validation question was "What is the standard
> offset in kHz for a 2 meter repeater?" Enter 600 and you were verified
> as a ham.) Weak as that was, it was probably enough. There is nothing
> in Part 97 that specifies the strength of the verification.
> The problems are (1), there is no accountability for anything on the
> internet side. I can do absolutely anything on the internet and not be
> in violation of FCC Part 97. Just like while sitting in my home in
> Florida I am not subject to the Seattle Municipal Code, there is no
> jurisdiction. Compounded this with (2), any authentication scheme,
> OpenAPRS, WinLink, or 600 becomes worthless when you can inject
> validated packets into the system at the next step, the APRS IS. Since
> the authentication is trivially bypassed, anonymously and without
> guilt, that leaves the IGate operators on the hook.
> And, this is just the US. APRS is worldwide, and there are dozens of
> different sets of rules that need to be considered!
> I don't have any easy answers, I don't think there are any. At the
> very least I want the IGate operators to be aware of the risks others
> are exposing them to!
> Steve K4HG
> On Oct 19, 2008, at 6:33 PM, Brian Webster wrote:
> > Is there any way to use the same methods for verification that
> > WinLink uses?
> > That would keep the training of the hams a bit simplified since it
> > might end
> > up being the same process for both systems. Just a thought. While
> > their
> > system is not rock solid perfect, it certainly is a reasonable one
> > that does
> > not seem to be abused as of yet. I would also think that whatever
> > method
> > gets put in place that a provision to open things up in the event of
> > an
> > emergency would be a good idea.
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