Police bust their own radio shop manager for dodgy software updates (Manitoba)

The manager in charge of Winnipeg’s police radios was arrested last Thursday for allegedly using fraudulent licenses to update the encrypted Motorola radios that police use to keep their conversations private, CBC News reports.

According to court documents, an employee tipped authorities off about the alleged actions of Ed Richardson, who was the manager of the radio shop for the City of Winnipeg. The radio shop is in charge of repairing and maintaining radios used by the Winnipeg Police Service and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Richardson allegedly got his hands on millions of dollars’ worth of illegal licenses for the radios, which require frequent updates. Each of those software updates should have cost the city $94, but the informant said that Richardson didn’t like paying those fees to Motorola.

Police suspect that Richardson got the unauthorized keys from a Winnipeg ham radio enthusiast who was under investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Court documents say that a DHS agent traveled to Winnipeg in 2016 to brief local police about the investigation. The agent told Winnipeg police that the man whom DHS was investigating reprogrammed Motorola radios for a roster of international clients. Such clients are of the criminal ilk, as in, people who have an interest in hiding their chats on encrypted radio. That includes drug lords. 

Read more – Sophos: http://bit.ly/2Nyn3jV