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Electronic transfer devices
Key fillers

A key transfer device is an electronic device that is used (most commonly by the military) for the distribution of cryptographic variables, such as crypto keys and frequency hopping tables. Key fillers often use a standard data protocol, such as DS-102 or DS-101 (both developed by the US National Security Agency, NSA), but devices with proprietary protocols are used as well.
 
Key fillers are known by various names:
  • Electronic Transfer Device
  • Key Transfer Device
  • Key Fill Device (KFD)
  • Common Fill Device (CFD)
  • Data Transfer Device (DTD)
  • Fill Device
  • Key Fill Gun
  • Fill Gun
  • Key Filler
  • Filler
  • FILL
  
KYK-13 key loader

Key fillers that follow the DS-101/102 protocol, are generally equipped with a U-283 connector (6-pin version of the U-229) that allows them to be connected to crypto devices and standard US radio sets, such as HAVE QUICK and SINCGARS. The same standard is sometimes used on non-US equipment, such as the NATO-approved Philips Spendex-40 and Spendex 50 crypto phones.
 
Data transfer devices on this website
AN/KYK-13 Key Transfer Device AN/CYZ-10 Data Transfer Device ECCM Fill Device (Frequency Hopping tables) Key fill device Philips DS-102 compatible key loader Marconi SCIMITAR Fill Gun Slave Key Programmer (SKP) for the Philips PFX-PM mobile radio Motorola universal Key Variable Loader KVL-3000 and KVL-300a
Key Storage Device (Token) Key Storage Device (Token) 1Kb Key Storage Device with Microwire interface, as used with the KIV-7 Keyloader for the KSD-64 and PK-64 key storage devices (STU-III) Racal MA-4073 programmer and key filler Racal MA-4083C fill gun Racal MA-4778 Cougar DS-102 key filler Vericrypt 1100 key loader

Key fillers are commonly used for the distribution of the Transmission Encryption Keys (TEK) and Transmission Security Keys (TSK), such as Frequency Hopping (FH) tables. The latter is also known as Electronic Counter Counter-Measures (ECCM). Fill devices are also used for the distribution of Key Encryption Keys (KEK). Fill devices are used for:
 
  • Crypto keys
  • FH (Frequency Hopping)
  • GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • IFF (Identification Friend or Foe)
  • Software updates
Known fill devices
Below is a non-exhaustive list of known transfer devices:
 
Designator Description Protocol NSN
KYK-13 Electronic Transfer Device DS-102 5810-01-026-9618
KYX-15 Net Control Device DS-102 5895-01-026-9619
KOI-18 Paper Tape Reader DS-102 5810-01-026-9650
CYZ-10 Data Transfer Device DS-101 5810-01-343-1194
PYQ-10 Simple Key Loader DS-101 5810-01-517-3587
KIK-20 Secure DTD2000 System (SDS) DS-101 5810-01-543-5943
KIK-30 Really Simple Key Loader (RASKL) DS-101 5810-01-580-4662
UP-2001 Philips Key Filler DS-102 -
UP-2101 Philips Key Filler DS-102 -
MA-4073 Programmer and filler for Racal Cougar radios Gougar -
MA-4083 Fill gun for MA-4720 and Cougar radios Gougar -
MA-4778 DS-102 fill gun for Cougar radio with SAVILLE DS-102 -
MX-10579 ECCM Fill Device DS-102 5895-01-188-8816
MX-18290 ECCM Fill Device DS-102 5895-01-270-3935
KSD-64A Key Storage Device (Token) STU-III -
PK-64KC Key Storage Device (Token) STU-III -
PKS-703 Keyloader for KSD-64 and PK-64 STU-III 7025-01-534-7164
DK-1000 Key Storage Device (Token) KIV-7 -
CFD-900 Fill Gun (for MASS SDT-500) DS-102 -
SCIMITAR Fill Gun for Marconi SCIMITAR V Radios Proprietary -
PFX-SKP Slave Key Programmer for Philips PFX-PM Proprietary -
KVL-3000 Keyloader for Motorola radios Proprietary 5963-01-532-7248
Vericrypt Keyloader for BBC Vericrypt voice encryptor Proprietary -

 
U-229 connector
Most devices that support the NSA's DS-101 or DS-102 protocol, use the same 5-pin or 6-pin AUDIO connector, commonly referred to as U-229/U. The pinout is standardized, but is different for each protocol. Click the image below for more information. More...


 
Key Storage Device
As an alternative to key fill devices in the shape of an external box, modern electronic cipher machines sometimes use a so-called Key Storage Device (KSD) in the shape of a plastic toy key. One example is the NSA developed KSD-64, that is used with the Motorola SECTEL STU-III phones. The KSD-64 can be configured for use as Fill Key (FK).

 More information
  
KSD-64 Key Storage Device

 
Protocols
  • DS-101
    This is the latest protocol, developed by the NSA, that is used with the current generation of Data Transfer Devices, such as the AN/CYZ-10. It is the successor to DS-102 (see below) and is defined in the EKMS 603 standard. The hardware is most commonly implemented as RS-485, but RS-232 versions exist as well. DS-101 is not only used for transferring key material, but for uploading cryptographic algorithms and software updates as well.

  • DS-102
    This is the protocol that was used with the first generation of Key Fill Devices, such as the KYK-13. It is the predecessor of the DS-101 protocol (see above). It can be used for the distribution of key material and frequency hopping tables. Key length for some devices is limited to 90-bits, whereas the US Department of Defence (DoD) prefers 128-bit keys as supported by the DS-101 protocol [1] . The DS-102 protocol was developed by the NSA and is defined in the EKMS 608 standard.

References
  1. Kathleen Hickey, DoD modernizes cryptographic device
    Defense Systems website, 12 November 2009.

Further information

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