Friday, July 21, 2017

The Case for Corporate Counterintelligence

Excellent article explaining why corporations need a Counterintelligence Program. Make sure your program is holistic. Round it out by adding in Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), and technical information security elements. 

Q: I am trying to garner support for creating a corporate counterintelligence (CI) program within our security organization; we are an international company with people and facilities in multiple countries. What does a “good” corporate CI program look like?

A: ...For its lifeblood, does your organization rely on: Patented or copyrighted products? Trade secrets? Proprietary information, technology, services or processes? Are supply chain vendors/subcontractors hired to support any of those areas? Is research and development a core capability? Does your organization provide goods or services not provided by anyone else? Are foreign nationals employed in the organization (domestically or internationally)? Are US citizen employees assigned to facilities outside the US? If you answered yes to any of these, then your organization is a viable candidate for a dedicated CI program... more

Eavesdropping Comes Out of the Closet – Gets Job as Reality Show

There are some people who love to eavesdrop — they can't help themselves. Then there are others who not only love to listen in, but also have a strong case of schadenfreude and take pleasure in the hardship of others. For these special individuals, there's a podcast that will be their newest obsession: Where Should We Begin.

Couples therapist and author Esther Perel hosts this addictive series, and it's better than reality TV, because you know these drama-filled conversations aren't scripted. During each session, strangers can listen in on private therapy sessions with the psychologist from Belgian. Although the names and identifying characteristics are left out, everything else is fair game in the episodes. more

Amazing $1.00 Gadget for Savvy Investigators

I recently came across this gadget on eBay.

It's a Bluetooth wireless remote control for smartphones (iOS & Android). Basically made for the selfie crowd, investigators will find applications for it as well. Not bad for a buck.

It comes with a battery. No instructions needed. Just flip the side switch, and pair it with your phone.

You can now be up to 30 feet away from your phone and snap photos, or take movies.

How can you go wrong for $1.00? Did I mention shipping was FREE! The catch... it will take about a month to arrive. Mine came from Thailand, probably via message in a bottle.

Need one quicker, a California ebay'er has them for $4.20, Free shipping.

Yet Another Caught on Open Microphone

Off-topic comments between OJ Simpson and his lawyer were caught on a hot mic as the parole board returned to tell him their decision. 

Among the things discussed were cookies, ice cream, President Donald Trump and former Associated Press Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch, who covered Simpson’s double murder trial.

“My best to my favorite lady, you know who I’m speaking of,” he said. “Tell her I wanted to call her but I don’t call anybody from here other than my family.” more

People are caught on open microphones quite often.
Rule #1 - If you see a microphone assume it is on. Watch what you say.

Rule #2 - If you don't see a microphone, don't assume one is not there and listening. Watch what you say, until you have had the area swept by a competent Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) team.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How to Get Away with Spying for the Enemy

If you like real-life, bizarre, spy stories, this may really interest you.

How does someone get away with helping a foreign adversary? We dig into the gonzo story of an American acquitted of spying for the Soviets—even after he confessed to it.

The founder of an investment firm in Hawaii, Rewald lived like a Master of the Universe, traveling the world, driving expensive cars, staying in expensive hotels and throwing expensive parties.

Smith, by contrast, was a Mormon who lived in Utah with his wife and four children. A former case officer in intelligence with the United States Army, he had resigned from his job at the start of the 1980s to spend more time with his family. Smith sought to make a new life for himself as an entrepreneur; when VHS tapes were still cutting-edge, he began a service to make video diaries and testimonials for families to pass down from one generation to the next.

The common thread between Reward and Smith was espionage... more

Yet Another Caught on Open Microphone

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu caught on microphone slamming EU in Budapest...
Conference organizers quickly cut his microphone when they realized his closed-door comments were broadcast... Netanyahu was inadvertently picked up by a live microphone on Wednesday calling the European Union "crazy" and admitting to missile strikes in Syria... After a few minutes it became clear that journalists could hear the comments and the sound was cut. more

People are caught on open microphones quite often.
Rule #1 - If you see a microphone assume it is on. Watch what you say.

Rule #2 - If you don't see a microphone, don't assume one is not there and listening. Watch what you say, until you have had the area swept by a competent Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) team.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Information Security's Curse - The Ostrich Effect

A new study by OneLogin has revealed that a large proportion of businesses fail to adequately protect their networks from the potential threat posed by ex-employees.

The firm surveyed more than 600 IT decision-makers in the UK and found respondents were aware that over half (58%) of former employees are still able to access corporate networks even after they’ve left a company...

“Our study suggests that many businesses are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to this basic, but significant, threat to valuable data, revenue and brand image,” said Alvaro Hoyos, chief information security officer at OneLogin. more

Corporate Espionage in Mining

Shark Tanked

UK - A former champion boxer has been jailed after bugging his ex-girlfriend's phone during a campaign to 'control' her.

Ronnie 'The Shark' Clark installed spyware on a phone he bought former partner Rebecca Graham and sent her menacing messages, a court heard.

The 32-year-old was jailed for nine months at Teesside Crown Court after he was convicted of the new offence of 'controlling or coercive behaviour'...

He used the phone software to monitor who she was exchanging messages with and threatened to kill a man she was in touch with, The Dundee Courier reported.

A family member of Clark's also messaged Miss Graham telling her 'you know what he's capable of' and 'he's not scared of killing people'. more

Business Espionage: Hotel Wars

When it comes to appealing to Millennials — of which there are now 75.4 million in the United States alone — hotel companies are doing all they can to launch wallet-friendly, yet still-stylish accommodations that emphasize such features as co-working spaces, communal stadium seating, artisanal goods, and craft beers., one U.S. hotel company is suing another in an effort to either protect its intellectual property rights...

On July 12, Red Lion Hotels filed a lawsuit against Hard Rock International for “trade dress infringement, injury to business reputation, and unfair competition.”

Red Lion alleges that Hard Rock’s newest hotel brand, Reverb, is a carbon copy of its own Hotel RL brand, which it launched in October 2014 and currently has seven properties throughout the United States...

Red Lion, however, alleges that these similarities aren’t just the result of a shared effort to appeal to Millennials; it’s the fact that Red Lion and Hard Rock hired the same hotel consulting group to develop their respective brands...

This isn’t the first time a hotel company has accused a competitor of intellectual property theft. Starwood Hotels & Resorts sued Hilton in 2009, alleging that two of its former executives who joined Hilton had conspired to steal secrets from W Hotels to help Hilton create its own version of W, to be called Denizen.

Hilton later paid Starwood $75 million to settle civil charges of corporate espionage, and agreed not to launch or acquire a lifestyle brand like Denizen for two years. more

Friday, July 14, 2017

This week in SpyCam News: A Spy Watch Case Within a Case, and more...

VA - That case involves the 20 charges of filming a nude person without their consent, seven charges of entering a home under false pretenses, and two charges of possessing marijuana that are pending against former Windor Hills maintenance worker John David Mills, 34, of Montgomery County. Prosecutors say Mills went to women’s apartments, told them their bathroom needed repair, and left behind a spy watch equipped with a hidden video camera. He then returned to collect the watch, amassing a collection of surreptitious videos of residents in their bathrooms. At a hearing in May, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Jensen said that Mills told investigators that the videos had become an addiction and that he had secretly filmed more than 20 people. more
FL - The Citrus County Sheriff's Office says a church employee has been arrested on several charges including video voyeurism. In a press release, deputies say the man was an employee of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church. He is identified as 36-year-old Chad Robison from Hernando. He worked as a worship director from 2011 to 2017... After investigating, Internet Crimes Against Children Central Florida Task Force found more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 pictures on his laptop featuring young girls performing sex acts with Robison. The laptop also contained videos of young girls using his restroom when they visited his home. more
UK - A trusted school caretaker hid a camera in staff toilets and made secret recordings for his own sexual gratification. Pervert Malcolm Banks had worked at Gosforth Academy, in Newcastle, for over 30 years before he decided to set-up the device and upload the subsequent footage on to his computer... The camera was eventually spotted by two teachers and it was handed to the headteacher before Banks was confronted. more
Canada - Police are seeking a suspect after a woman reported an unknown male allegedly filmed her in the change room of an Oakville community centre July 11. The woman was getting ready to swim at the Iroquois Ridge Community Centre on Glenashton Drive at 7:45 p.m. when the alleged incident occurred, Halton police say. more
AR - A woman told police she caught a man taking video or pictures of her while she was nude in a local gym's tanning booth. Eric Shane Couch, 30, of Hot Springs, has been charged with video voyeurism, a felony... The female victim told police that as she was getting out of a tanning bed and getting dressed, she noticed a cell phone being held over the partitioning wall that separated two tanning booths. more
LA - Bossier City police are investigating a complaint received Monday about an alleged incident of video voyeurism at an Old Navy clothing store. ...according to the complaint, an unidentified man is accused of sliding a mobile phone under a dressing room stall door in an apparent attempt to take photos or video of the 17-year-old girl inside. more
(Sometimes, spycams are good.)
UK - A Bupa carer was caught on a family’s spy cam verbally abusing a dementia patient before twice spraying an aerosol in her MOUTH, a court heard... Betty Boylan’s relatives hid the device inside a television after they found unexplained bruising on the retired nurse when they visited her at the £1,000-a-month care home. Within days they uncovered disturbing footage of carer Bina Begum, 49, lifting the great-gran by her head before throwing her back into her chair. more
Idiocracy is closer than you think... SOLD OUT

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Shops Using Spy Techniques to Monitor Customers' Facial Expressions

New technology being installed by retailers in Europe and the US, and being trialed in the UK, can spot if a customer cannot find a product, read their reaction to an outfit or spot thieves in a bid to keep up with online retailers. 

Shops are using new spy techniques to monitor customers' facial expressions, heart rate and even pupil dilation while they browse the aisles.

Technology installed by one French bookseller is able to detect shoppers' movements and facial expressions and alert staff that they may require assistance.

The technology could save retailers thousands of pounds by ditching the laborious marketing method of interviewing shoppers and focus groups. more

How the Dutch Bugged the Soviet Embassy -- Updated with Excellent Graphics

Our friend in The Netherlands, Dr. Cees Wiebes, has alerted us to some updates on the website.

Click to enlarge.
Backgrounds: Dr. Wiebes is the author of Intelligence and the War in Bosnia: 1992-1995 (Studies in Intelligence History). In researching this book he was granted full access to the top-secret archives of the Dutch services and the still classified UN archives. Foreign intelligence services gave him confidential briefings, and he spoke with more than 100 intelligence officials from various countries.

The Crypto Museum, curated by Paul Reuvers and Marc Simons, is the absolute best virtual site I've seen for information on government eavesdropping and information security countermeasures. Both are self-employed engineers from Eindhoven, a lovely small (but very high-tech) city which I've been to multiple times. Their dedication to preserving this history is only rivaled by the photography and graphics they have been able to obtain for the website. Enjoy...

An update of the Dutch bugging of the Soviet embassy in The Hague:

The various types of Dutch bugs that were used.

New information as regards the Moscow bug:

An interesting overview of all Easy Chair- related affairs:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Spycam News: Former NASCAR Driver Sued for Spying on Ex's

Former NASCAR driver Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing have been sued by Biffle's ex-wife and her mother for allegedly spying on them inside his home in Mooresville, North Carolina, with hidden cameras.

According to WSOC-TV's Allison Latos, Biffle is alleged to have hidden cameras "inside the house, including in the master bedroom, bathroom and in the guest bedroom where Biffle's former mother-in-law stayed."

The suit reportedly alleges Biffle, 47, spied on his ex-wife and ex-mother-in-law with the hidden cameras and showed the tape around. more

Android Malware Steals Data From 40 Apps

A newly uncovered form of Android malware aims to steal data from over 40 popular apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and Firefox - and the trojan has been actively engaging in in this illicit activity for almost two years.

Dubbed SpyDealer by the Palo Alto Networks researchers who discovered it, the malware harvests vast accounts of personal information about compromised users, including phone numbers, messages, contacts, call history, connected wi-fi information and even the location of the device.

The espionage capabilities of the trojan also enable it to record phone calls and videos, along with surrounding audio and video, take photos with both front and rear cameras, take screenshots of sensitive information and monitor the devices location at all times. more