I've been studying on Yate & YateBTS source code for a while, and I was wondering why there is no ciphering mode implementation in the source!?

I use the combination of BladeRF x40 FPGA and YateBTS package to simulate a private BTS and have a private GSM network in a small area, but all packets are transferred in clear text and can be captured and sniffed by Wireshark!

Is there anybody released a patch for YateBTS to enable Ciphering Mode Command? I need my connection ciphered by A5/2 algorithm. It takes a lot of time and effort to do it by my own! Have anyone patched the source to make ciphering command mode work?

EDIT: We need to send Ciphering Mode Command message (RR) from BTS to MS to make ciphering enabled.

  • 1
    They have a forum forum.yate.ro/index.php?board=16.0 AND an IRC channel. That is a better place to ask.
    – Daisetsu
    Nov 4, 2018 at 22:46
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    IRC channel is empty from active people and filled by my questions :) and I asked this question in the forum before but no one will quickly answer, kinda my job depends on it. thanks for helping anyway. Nov 5, 2018 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


The YateBTS Wiki states the MBTS software supports Ciphering for A5/1 and A5/3 in the air interface, though not the A5/2 you have mentioned, perhaps this implimentaion would suit your needs?

MBTS features

  • actually using A5/2 is mandatory in my project. maybe I can implement this algorithm later. but the point is yate won't encrypt the network even if I configure it to do so. so I'm wondering if anyone have ever worked on the source to help me find the right place to send Ciphering Mode Command message. Nov 4, 2018 at 15:11
  • Please expand the answer to contain the relevant information from the link. Link only answers are bad, because links tend to disappear. And BTW, welcome to Stackexchange. Nov 5, 2018 at 17:13
  • A5/2 is notoriously weak, and probably was phased out long before YateBTS even existed. If you really need it, you might have to adapt the source code, this won't be trivial. Good luck.
    – Kate
    Aug 26, 2020 at 18:22
  • @Kate - this - is maybe why he want it(HOPEFULLY) to maybe test some cracking ! :) Jul 10, 2022 at 8:35

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