Bug sweep services
Bug sweep service and counter surveillance
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- Do you think you need a bug sweep
- How can you tell if you’re being electronically spied on
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Life can be a challenge sometimes, the last thing you need worry about is somebody spying on you or you're business and prying into your private life.
Although the thought of being spied on seems “extreme or silly” you might wonder what if?
If you are wondering why you’re business competitor is always ahead of you or if you find that others just seem to know too much information about you
then you may have a bugging device present in your place of work or home.
Some situation can be much more serious, you don’t have to be a victim some simple changes can empower you to gain the upper hand.
General bugging information & counter surveillance techniques.
Once you realise how sophisticated and hard-to-detect bugging systems have become in recent years, then you’ll want to make sure that there aren’t any in your home or your place of business.
Modern bugs don’t just pick up and transmit voices, they can essentially snatch information and data out of the air over WiFi and mobile phone GSM networks.
There are several main processes that can be used to extract secretive voice data.
It is possible to detect 65% of of spy tactics with the right equipment.
The remaining 35% requires advanced analysis and offensive prevention to see the process.
As bugs become smarter, so do the detectors & techniques required to find them.
To keep up with the increasingly smart bugs, bug-sweeping methods have improved vastly, especially in the last six or seven years. It’s now much more complicated to detect bugs and so if you engage a detection company or service, you need to know that it’s up-to-date. The company needs to know about all the current threats, as well as the techniques used for eavesdropping and for collecting sensitive data about individuals or companies.
The TSCM and bug sweep industry
Bug sweeping is an increasingly popular service and so an industry has sprung up to offer it; however, not all companies can promise accurate or reliable results because they don’t have the right depth of experience with in the Technical Surveillance Counter- Measures (TSCM) area.
Bug sweeping is “a dark art” and best left to individuals who have the right mind set and understand the phycology’s behind the tactical elements for extracting information. You need to understand just what’s possible and what’s not possible if you are to have any chance of performing the task with the right degree of success.
It would be true to quote “ A direct bug sweep is actually impossible "
It’s not so much a case of looking for the bugs themselves as eliminating through analysis other known transmitting devices and seeing (as it were) what’s left.
There’s also lots of other things to consider and many service providers don’t like to go into too much detail with clients, mainly to save time, but also because of the very nature of the business.
Other providers simply do not acknowledge the threats properly and do not know all the avenues of inspection required for eliminating modern bugging techniques.
A complete or preliminary bug sweep can become very complex.
Bug sweeping can be a very tough thing to explain to anyone outside the industry, even if the person is paying for the service. It’s doubly problematic if the service provider doesn’t fully understand the technicalities themselves. An astonishing 50% or so of bug sweeping services don’t fully understand what they’re doing and often spread myths because they actually believe them themselves.
Others blind their clients with science and jargon so they look like they know what they’re doing, which sometimes justifies a higher-than-necessary charge.
Yet others haven’t kept up with technical developments within the sector so, even though their service may have been great a few years ago, it’s simply not good enough now. They may be using outdated equipment, or they may be unaware of modern threats and methods.
GSM Interception is just one threat we face.
As more of the world uses smartphones and WiFi is ever more widespread, interception is becoming the main way to steal or uncover secret information.
The data can be taken from the air as easily as catching a feather floating by.
A few years ago, GSM (mobile network) interception equipment cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and operatives required advanced training.
These days, people can buy a passive GSM interceptor that’s built into a smartphone-styled casing. These devices have a range of around 300 metres and so the user can listen into live phone calls and grab text messages, as well as lots of other communications, including emails and social media activity. Even more worryingly, as no special training is needed, the operator only has to press a few keys and to anyone around them, it looks like they’re simply using a smartphone. As they’re so convenient, it’s no surprise that these devices have replaced some of the bulkier, more expensive and tricky bugging methods and equipment.
Older surveillance bugs V current Technologies.
Some types of devices can be straight forward to detect.
There are many new systems on the world markets much more sinister in design and data transmission, often requiring advanced analysis to detect.
Imagine you have 2000 Square foot of office space and 100 desks? Now imagine having to take every item in the area apart to check.
You can possibly see some of the challenges presented to somebody trying to check an area leaking information.
To add further complications, some spy devices do not transmit at all. We need unique techniques for finding such devices in line with the time we have for the task.
Most businesses are only free from staff between specific hours so time is always a consideration as is movement of people constituting re-contamination a cleared area.
The NLJD (Non Linier Junction Detector) is useful but not a magic wand?
Hopefully you can start to understand just what’s involved if somebody is to conduct a proper security bug sweep of any house office or high risk area.
You should only use a company or individual with vast experience with in the field otherwise the odds are stacked against you finding a spy device ever further.
We have been with in this industry for over 30 years and initially went professional with the business in 1997 – much has changed, not only in the advances of electronic surveillance techniques but also in the equipment availability area, now any one can purchase surveillance equipment that was once only available to Government organisations or military based companies. Some people can even make advanced GSM interception systems for a few thousand pounds; although this type of fake BTS system might not be very portable, nevertheless it still works.
The computer revolution has also opened many doors for hackers to further advanced espionage techniques and extract data through PC networks or over WiFi.
Espionage deployment and ambition.
Have you heard of Cyber blackmail, remote encryption ransom ware, sextortion, if no then Google a few of these words to find out more, these scenarios represent just a few things used by cyber criminals accessing data, weather its secretive business data, financial data or personal data.
One of the most incredible things I have ever seen is a remote key-logger that works like an SS7 cell phone interception attack totally remote over the web.
No software needs to be installed on the PC, computer or smart phone, data is intercepted through the net "on the fly" as its sent from the PC over the GSM network and internal WiFi network.
Low tech rules sometimes?
Physically isolating a computer from the wider net – creating a so-called “air gap” – is another cheap and low-tech solution to evade billion-dollar surveillance systems that is practised by terrorists and state spies alike.
However, an air gap can be difficult to maintain. Iran kept its uranium enrichment facilities air gapped, but the Stuxnet virus was able to cripple the all-important centrifuges after infected USB drives discarded by spies were plugged in by oblivious workers. Recent research from Berlin-based cyber-security experts Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell suggests a new level of threat.
A USB device that appears completely empty can still contain malware, even when formatted, say Nohl and Lell, and there is no practical way to defend against this.
Air gaps can also be crossed by sufficiently cunning programs, which could in principle be used by surveillance agencies to gain access to computer networks and collect information. Last year, security researcher Dragos Ruiu reported evidence that a virus had managed to jump the air gap in his laboratory. It was later confirmed the malware was spreading by high-frequency sounds passed between the speakers of an infected machine and the microphone of its next victim. Recommendations for keeping communications and databases secure now include gumming the microphone and USB sockets with glue.
"Extreme yes" But also true under laboratory conditions.
Understanding the environmental conditions of the area that is to be inspected is most important if you are to understand the possibilities presented, so you can consider the tactics that may be deployed, this also affects the process you may use to search for a specific bugging technique.
For many years we tried to load and run our Mprime system, both the Pro and the stand alone application, on the HUAWEI smart phone range.
We could load and alter the HUAWEI firmware and load our software but the program simply would not run, we just could not work out why.
After 4 years and several failed attempts to run our system we finally discovered the issue.
It was not a compatibility problem like we first though but a conflict issue between our messenger’s security policies and the HUAWEI handset spy software built into the firmware by HUAWEI.
It seems the handset would not allow our system to function without having control or more appropriately access to the encrypted application.
Finding the solution to this unknown problem was very well received as the outcome reinforced the fact that the Mprime encrypted messenger is very secure indeed.
Not only would it repel the HUAWEI Trojan but it also refused to run and shut down the messenger to protect the user.
The Mprime messenger is more than just a robust messenger it has built in anti-spyware as well as a self-generated anti key logger key pad.
For more information regarding a consultation contact us direct, we can explore your electronic security requirements with an informal meeting.
If you feel you may be a priority please call us from a new pay as you go mobile phone purchased by yourself or drop us a line through the contact page on this web site. Please use a computer not associated to your regular working or home computer network.