KGB TELEPHONES

THE MOST SECRET CALLING METHODS ARE STILL IN USE—WE WILL SHOW YOU HOW THEY WORK!

The Vertushka (Russian: Вертушка) was a special internal telephone used in the Soviet Union. It connected a leader to their key subordinates, like regional party secretaries, high-ranking military officials, or big state-owned factory chiefs. Having a Vertushka reflected one’s high status in the hierarchy of governance. The name is derived from the Russian word for a rotary dial, a novelty first installed on a special telephone used by Lenin.

These confidential telephone connections were maintained using so-called “high-frequency” telephone communications even before the Word War Two. These were the most secure telephone lines in the Soviet Union and were protected from eavesdropping.

The KGB also used secure telephones. Their telephone lines provided voice security in the form of end-to-end encryption, in addition to the mutual authentication of the call parties, which could protect a call against a man-in-the-middle attack. One of the widely known voice modulator systems was called Granit. Concerns about the massive growth of telephone tapping incidents led to the growing demand for secure telephones.

All of these techniques are still in use today, and more of our personal data is readily available now than ever before. We are sure that after visiting our museum you will be more cautious about what you say and to whom.