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Recorder
Bugs
FSB
  
Diloger
Covert harddisc recorder

DILOGER is a self-contained harddisc-based audio recorder, 1 built around 2002 by an unknown party, and used by the current Russian federal security service FSB – the successor to the KGB – for recording intercepted telephone calls, or the audio from a nearby covert listening device, or bug. It was commonly placed inside a regular unobtrusive vehicle, parked in the vicinity of the person or building under surveillance (the target), allowing 24/7 monitoring of the target [1].

It has a removable 30 GB IDE harddisc and can record up to 4 channels of uncompressed audio, with 16-bit resolution, at a rate of 22 kHz, using pulse-code modulation (PCM). Each input can be connected to the (line) output of a receiver, or directly to a microphone. The input levels are fully adjustable. The device is powered by an external 12V DC source, such as a car battery.

Back at the office, the samples can be down­loaded from the harddisc, by connecting the device to a TCP/IP network and accessing it from a personal computer (PC) using the FTP protocol.
  
Diloger harddisc recorder

Wireless covert listening devices (radio bugs) generally have a limited range – in the order of 50 to 150 metres – which means that a listening post (LP) has to be established close to the target. This was generally done by using a nearby house, a hotel room or a mini van, but this could attract the attention of the target, especially if the operators had to get in and out regularly. To overcome this problem, an inconspicuous car was parked in the vicinity, with the above Diloger connected to a receiver. The harddisc had to be swapped for a fresh one just once a week [1].

  1. Also known as a hard disk recorder, or a hard drive recorder.

HELP REQUIRED — The device has a built-in FTP server, which is protected with a username and password. At present, these are unknown to us, so we are unable to download the contents of the harddisc to a PC. If you have information that could help us to get access, please contact us. The FTP server identifies itself as LioNet 1.0. The device also has a built-in HTTP server, through which it identifies itself as Diloger version 1.3.  More
Diloger harddisc recorder
Diloger harddisc recorder
Diloger recorder with removed harddisc
Loading the harddisc
Loading the harddisc
Front panel
Display showing harddisc contents
Playing a recorded audio session
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Diloger harddisc recorder
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Diloger harddisc recorder
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Diloger recorder with removed harddisc
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Loading the harddisc
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Loading the harddisc
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Front panel
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Display showing harddisc contents
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Playing a recorded audio session

Features
All controls and connections are located at the front panel of the device, as shown in the image below. At the top left is a bay for a removable 2.5" IDE harddisc, such as the one placed in front of it. In this case, a 30 GB harddisc – made by IBM in Hungary – is used. The power socket is at the bottom left. The device is activated as soon as a 12V DC power source is connected to it.

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The device is operated by five black push buttons along the bottom edge of the front panel, in combination with a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The user interface is in English and is menu-driven. Up to four audio sources can be connected to the gold-plated RCA (CINCH) sockets at the right. The input level (line or microphone) can be selected via the menu. The menu is also used to shut the device down after use. It can then be reactivated by pressing the red button at the left.

The device has a built-in 10baseT ethernet interface that is available via the RJ45 socket at the front panel. It allows a PC – connected to the same network – to access the built-in FTP server (LioNet 1.0) and the HTTP server. The HTTP server only shows the name of the device, the version number, the current date/time, the free space on the harddisc and the current DC power supply voltage. The FTP server requires a username and password, which we do not know at present.




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Interior
The device is housed in an a black aluminium enclosure, consisting of two extruded aluminium profiles — used as the sides — with rectangular panels for the front, rear, top and bottom. The construction is held together by four large self-tapping screws at the front and four at the rear.

The front panel has a number of cut-outs and holes to accomodate the display, the controls and all connections. The interior can be accessed by removing the screws from the front and rear panels. Inside the device is a large printed circuit board (PCB), that is tightly fitted into the rigs of the side panels, close to the bottom of the case.

Above the PCB, fitted in two other rigs of the side panels, is a makeshift bracket that holds a bay for a removable 2.5" IDE harddisc. An extra PCB is fitted in the IDE socket of the main PCB to buffer the IDE lines and provide the 3.3V power.
  
Audio codecs, ethernet interface and display

The main PCB comprises an embedded computer platform, built around an 8-bit ATmega 128 [a] microcontroller made by Atmel (now: Microchip). Sound sampling and playback functionality is provided by two AD1845 CODECs [b] made by Analog Devices. Ethernet access is provided by an RTL8019AS [c] full-duplex 10baseT ethernet controller with built-in RAM buffer made by Realtek.

When recording, the PCM data from the CODECs is stored on a harddisc, whithout the use of a disc controller. This is possible because the necessary logic is embedded in the IDE harddisc. The device featured here, is equipped with a 30 GB 2.5" harddisc, made by IBM in Hungary. It is fitted on a carrier PCB, which in turn is mounted inside a plastic enclosure that can be inserted into the harddisc bay at the front of the device.

After the harddisc has been inserted, the plastic knob at the front left of the harddisc, should be shifted to the left. It is then locked and enabled.
  
IBM Travelstar 30 GB IDE harddisc

Determining the age of the device is straightforward. Various components are marked with a date code of 2002. In addition, the PCB is labelled with a date code of wheek 51 of 2002, confirming that it was made in late 2002. Determining the origin of the device is more difficult, as there are no manufacturer markings on any of the PCBs. This could suggest that it was designed in Russia, or that it was bought as an OEM product. All parts are from Western manufacturers, and all of the menu texts are in English. Nevertheless, the recovered sound samples are all Russian. On startup, the device identifies itself as DILOGER, but a Google search for this name yielded no results.

Interior seen from the left side
Interior seen from the right side
Audio codecs, ethernet interface and display
ATmega 128 8-bit microcontroller
3V3 adapter board fitted between PCB and harddisc
Harddisc bay
IBM Travelstar 30 GB IDE harddisc
Harddisc in plastic cradle
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Interior seen from the left side
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Interior seen from the right side
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Audio codecs, ethernet interface and display
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ATmega 128 8-bit microcontroller
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3V3 adapter board fitted between PCB and harddisc
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Harddisc bay
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IBM Travelstar 30 GB IDE harddisc
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Harddisc in plastic cradle

Firmware
The device runs on an 8-bit Atmel ATmega 128 microcontroller with 128 KB of Flash ROM (which holds the firmware), a 4 KB EEPROM (for the settings and the passwords), and 256K external RAM for workspace. The firmware supports various interfaces and services, including:

  • Menu
    The regular user interface is via the small liquid crystal display (LCD) at the front panel, and the five push-buttons just below it. Itt offers three menu functions:

    1. Play
    2. Channel setup
    3. Shut down

  • FTP
    The device has an embedded FTP server, which identifies itself as
    <<LioNet>> 1.0
    . It is probably used to download the sound files from the harddisc to a PC, via a local area ethernet network. Unfortunately, it is password protected and the required username and password are not known to us. Any help would be highly appreciated.

  • HTTP
    The device also has a built-in HTTP server, which can be accessed from a regular browser. This server displays the name and version number of the device, along with the current date and time, the free space on the harddisc and the supplied DC voltage. There appears to be no further dialogue, so apparently this function is only partly implemented.
     
                                   DILOGER
                                   ver 1.3
     
                          4 channels voice logger
     
                          Date/Time: 00.01.01 00:01
                          HDD free space: 28547 Mb
                          Power supply: 12.3V
     
    

  • TelNet
    The device also responds to requests from a TelNet client via TCP/IP, but again this function appears not to be implemented or supported. Any attempt to enter a command via the TelNet client, results in an '
    Invalid command
    ' error.

  • RS232 serial port
    This port is fitted internally and is not available to the user. It was probably used by the developers for debugging. When connecting a VT102 terminal via a null-modem cable, it produces debugging information when the device is started, and also when an attempt is made to access any of the other interfaces, including the user interface (i.e. the display at the front panel and the 5 push-buttons). When the device is started, it identifies itself as:
     
                          MICRO WEB SERVER <<LioNet>>
                                 DILOGER v1.3
    
Restoration
When we obtained the Diloger featured here, the display remained blank when we tried to switch it on. There were two issues, both of which were fixed easily. The first issue was that the small IDE adapter card – fitted in the IDE socket on the main PCB – was not seated properly, probably caused by transport. The second issue – the blank display – was solved by readjusting the contrast potentiometer on the main PCB. After this, the device came to life and we were able to play back the two audio samples we found on the harddisc. So far, the following has been done:

  • Exterior cleaned
  • Display contrast re-adjusted
  • Harddisc interface converter board refitted
  • Earphones socket internal connector refitted
  • Serial port access confirmed
  • Ethernet access confirmed
Specifications
  • CODEC
    16-bit PCM at 22 kHz
  • Inputs
    4
  • Level
    Microphone or line (adjustable)
  • Output
    3.5 mm jack, stereo
  • Harddisc
    IDE, 30GB, 2.5"
  • Ethernet
    10Base10, full-duplex
  • Clock
    Real-time clock (RTC) with lithium battery
  • Power
    12V DC (external)
  • Dimensions
    215 x 145 x 79 mm
  • Weight
    1300 grams
Datasheets
  1. ATmega 128 Microcontroller
    Atmel (Microchip). Rev. 2467X-AVR-06/11.

  2. AD1845 SoundPort Stereo Codec
    Analog Devices, Rev. C, 1997.

  3. RTL8019AS Full-Duplex Ethernet Controller
    Realtek, 26 August 2005.

  4. W24100S-70LL, 128K x 8 Static RAM
    Winbond Electronics Corporation, October 1999, Revision A1.
References
  1. KGB Museum, Diloger harddisc recorder
    Retrieved February 2021.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 28 February 2021. Last changed: Wednesday, 17 March 2021 - 20:06 CET.
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