Reasons for having a counter-measures sweep
Who might be a target for an eavesdropper? Of course anyone could be and for any number of reasons but some are more likely than others depending on their occupation, company's market position, personal position, finances, domestic or relationship situation etc. Some likely business situations include, if you or your company:
- Is involved with research and development that might prove useful to a competitor
- Maintains personal information (eg credit or debit card details)
- Controls sensitive company information (eg past, present and future clients)
- Is in a competitive market where others would like to gain private information
(details of suppliers and other contacts, for example)
- Handles currency and / or commodities
- Experiencing personnel difficulties with staff or directors
- Involved in litigation
- Is tendering contracts or engaged in sensitive negotiations
- Is high profile or recently in the media
- Is undergoing restructuring, personnel reasignments or contract negotiations
- Has insurance claims
- Is facing financial difficulties or is in dispute with partners
There are many reasons why a company or its employees may be of interest to others (as with personal situations). Some likely situations include:
- Disputes with ex partners, neighbours, employers, work colleagues
- Getting married, separation or divorced
- Involvment in legal matters
- You are a victim of personal intimidation
- You are being stalked etc
- You are, or you are about to inherit
- You are acquainted with people of influence
It should be noted that anybody with Money, Power, Influence, or access to sensitive, classified, or personal information is at risk. Some clients may not necessarily suspect themselves as being victims of eavesdropping, but for personal or business reasons they need to ensure that their workplace, home, vehicle and other personal spaces, are bug-free.
Please note we do not sell or hire out debugging equipment.
Consider it a possibility when:
- Others know your confidential business or professional trade secrets. This is the most obvious indicator of covert eavesdropping activities. Often the loss of your secrets will show up in very subtle ways so you should always trust your instincts in this matter.
- When your competitors know things that are obviously private, or the media finds out about things they should not know, then it is reasonable to suspect technical eavesdropping or bugging and a bug sweep is highly recommended.
- Secret meetings and bids seem to be less than secret.
- People seem to know your activities when they shouldn't.
- You have noticed strange sounds or volume changes on your phone lines. This is commonly caused by an amateur eavesdropper when they attach a wiretap, or activate a similar listening device. Surveillance devices often cause slight anomalies on the telephone line such a volume shift or drop-out. Professional eavesdroppers and their equipment usually do not make such noises; so if this is going on it could indicate that an amateur eavesdropper is listening in. On the other hand you could simply be experiencing a flaw in the line, but you should have it checked out.
- You have noticed static, popping, or scratching on your phone lines. This is caused by the capacitive discharge which occurs when two conductors are connected together (such as a bug or wiretap on a phone line). This is also a sign that an amateur eavesdropper or poorly trained spy is playing with your phone lines. It could be nothing more then a problem with your phone line or handset.
- Sounds are coming from your phones handset when it's hung up.
- Your phone often rings and no one is there, or a very faint tone, or high pitched squeal or beep is heard for a fraction of a second. This is an indicator of a slave device, or line extender being used on your phone line. This is also a key indicator of a harmonica bug, or infinity transmitter being used. Of course it may also be nothing more then a fax machine or modem calling the wrong number.
- Your AM/FM radio has suddenly developed strange interference. Many amateur and spy shop eavesdropping devices use frequencies within or just outside the FM radio band, these signals tend to drift and will "quiet" an FM radio in the vicinity of the bug. Look for the transmissions at far ends of the FM radio band, and at any quiet area within the FM band. If the radio begins to squeal then slowly move it around the room until the sound become very high pitched. This is referred to as feedback detection or loop detection and will often locate the bug. The "stereo" function should be turned off so the radio is operating in "mono" as this will provide a serious increase in sensitivity.
- You have been the victim of a break-in.
- Electrical wall plates appear to have been moved slightly or "jarred". One of the most popular locations to hide eavesdropping devices is inside, or behind electrical outlets, switches, smoke alarms, and lighting fixtures. This requires that the wall plates be removed. Look for small amounts of debris located on the floor directly below the electrical outlet. Also, watch for slight variations in the colour or appearance of the power outlets or light switches as these are often swapped out by an eavesdropper. Also note if any of the screws which hold the wall plate against the wall have been tampered with, or moved from their previous position.
- A small-sized discolouration has suddenly appeared on the wall or ceiling. This is a tell tale sign that a pinhole microphone or small hidden video camera has been recently installed.
- Someone has just given you any type of electronic device such as a desk radio, alarm clock, lamp, small TV, CD player, and so on. Many of these "gifts" are actually Trojan horses which contain eavesdropping devices. Be very suspicious of any kind of pen, marker, calculator, "post-it" dispenser, power adapter, cell phone, cordless phone, clock, phone charger, lamp, and so on that is given as a gift. That gift could turn out to compromise your privacy.
- You notice small pieces of ceiling tiles, or "dust" on the floor, or on the surface area of your desk. Also, you may observe a cracked, chipped, or gouged ceiling tiles, or ones that are sagging, or not properly set into the track. This is an indication that a ceiling tile has been moved around, and that someone may have installed an eavesdropping device.
- Things appear to have been disturbed in your home or work place.
- No longer does the eavesdropper and his receiver need to be within a few hundred metres of the transmitter. Infinity transmitters operate on the GSM network (as mobile phones) which enables an eavesdropper to listen in from anywhere in the world, providing he has reception. GSM Bugs can be very small or even look like every day objects such as mobile phone batteries, plug adapter, air freshener, coat hook, memory stick, pen, key fob, extension lead, smoke alarm, room thermostat, phone charger, and some available at just a few pounds from the internet