Not so long ago surveillance has been considered a government or spy agency priority. However a lot has changed. The rapid research and development in information technologies and electronic devices, along with their shrinkage in size has made surveillance obtainable to each of us. All you have to do is Google for GSM tracker, spy camera, hidden voice recorder. Don’t be surprised to see hundreds of thousands or even millions of espionage gear offers. And it only depends on the commitment and financial constraints for one to start secret surveillance. Thanks to the Chinese manufacturers tiny cameras, microphones and other tracking devices have become easily obtainable at a ridiculous price. The statistics of such equipment sales shows that many people are taking advantage of this hassle free access to modern eavesdropping technologies. The temptation to spy on the surrounding comes not only to perverted maniacs.
This article focuses on surveillance carried in interest of businesses, politicians and simple ordinary (or not so ordinary) people.
The threat of eavesdropping & information loss has never been greater. Nowadays most exposed to eavesdropping are famous people, individuals with access to highly confidential information, companies and individuals as objects of corporate espionage, offices and individuals involved in political campaigns, investment bankers and other investment companies.
Here’s the list of those who intercept most:
- Competitors or partners
- Employers against their employees
- Subordinates against their colleagues and superiors
- Tenderers against other bidders or against the clients
- Spouses and lovers
- Intrusives, maniacs
The most commonly used espionage tools and methods are:
- Micro video cameras and recorders, often disguised as various household items such as watches, key chains, lighters, etc.
- Wireless and wired microphones of various types (radio, Wi-Fi, GSM, Bluetooth, laser, infrared, stethoscope, parabolic or shotgun microphones, etc);
- Eavesdropping software monitoring GSM phones, computers, laptops and tablets.
- Microphones transmitting information through the electrical grid, internet cables or security systems wiring.
- Devices intercepting the electromagnetic radiation of the computers, phones and other equipment for data processing and communication.
All the listed methods and devices can be considered just an illustration, as the actual number of can hardly be enumerated.
What’s common for the above listed methods and devices that they are widely available, quite cheap to buy and their operation does not require any special technical skills. The equipment having the access to internet either through Wi-Fi, cellular or stationary networks could be operated in any part of the World.
Detecting the bugging devices is not an easy and simple work. The term describing this type of activity is TSCM which is the abbreviation of Technical Surveillance Counter Measures. TSCM survey is a service provided by qualified personnel to detect the presence of technical surveillance devices and hazards and to identify technical security weaknesses that could aid in the conduct of a technical penetration of the surveyed facility. A TSCM survey normally consists of a thorough visual, electronic and physical inspection inside and outside of the surveyed facility. In conducting surveillance protection one has to be familiar with the tapping methods; hardware and software products; engineering solutions used for this purpose as well as their unmasking signs. Without this knowledge it is not possible to detect a well hidden bug.
For the successful implementation of this activity is necessary to have a properly trained personnel, good working methodology and appropriate set of technical means.
As there are lots of methods of eavesdropping and much more devices used for each method, there are lots of instruments to detect a bug. Example of the necessary equipment for the detection of radio microphone is radio frequency spectrum analyzer, wideband radio receiver and a nonlinear junction detector ( NLJD ). And this should be considered an absolute minimum.
The issue of interception and eavesdropping protection is a complex. Both activities are developing very dynamically. Unfortunately there is no way to point all aspects in one article. Practice shows that the systematic work and the funds invested for eavesdropping protection are sooner or later paid off.