Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Canadian Information Security Poll

Poll shows that 48% of Canadian executives are not confident private information is secure despite 71% having policies and procedures in place to guard against security breaches. (more)

Bug Your Laptop - Get It Back

The Cautionary Tale of the Khaki Bandit...

"'The khaki bandit' posed as an office worker at several corporations and successfully stole over 130 laptops which he later sold on eBay.

The ease of theft from the corporate offices (including FedEx and Burger King) shows just how bad corporate security can be. In some cases, the career thief just walked into the office behind an employee with a security badge.

Two million laptops were stolen just in 2004, and of those 97 percent were never recovered. Ultimately it was the corporate headquarters of Outback Steakhouse who caught the thief with a bugged laptop that notified them when he re-connected it to the internet." (more) (

How the Khaki Bandit (and others) do it...
• Choose targets with care. He went to neighborhoods, cities or states where he was not recognized. He sought large corporate offices to blend in with their large staffs and to find lots of laptops. When possible, he scheduled multiple burglaries for a single building that housing more than one company.

• Know the victims. He observed his targets in advance and paid attention to how employees dressed, whether they needed magnetic passes to enter and move about the building, and what time most of them left for the day.

• Time the arrival. He entered a business on the heels of an employee who could hold open a security door. He often arrived at about 4 p.m., a busy time of day that let him blend with the staff and exploit a time period when receptionists and assistants left for the day, but beefed-up nighttime security measures had not kicked in. He acted like he belonged.

• Make the move. When the office emptied, he went looking for laptops room by room. He kept an eye out for magnetic access cards, too. He had an alibi in case he was confronted. When done, he put the laptops in his shoulder bags - he would carry one into the building with a second bag inside it - and go.

• Move the product. He drove or mailed laptops back to his temporary home. He prepared them for sale by erasing the prior owner's data and installing or updating critical software.

Even folks from the Outback bug their laptops.
You should, too.
XTool Mobile Security, Inc.
(tracking system)
(tracking system)
Lo-Jack for Laptops (tracking system)
LaptopLocate (tracking system)
Total Logic Security
(marking system)
Ztrace Gold (tracking system)

Zombie Computers From Planet Earth

The greatest threat to global cyber security today, according to Internet Security Systems researcher Josh Corman, may be your mother's computer.

Or more precisely, the collected computers of all the world's mothers. Along with millions of other out-of-date and unsecured PCs strung together by the Internet--what Corman calls "the leper colony"--those machines represent a combined mass of computing power responsible for most of the Net's spam e-mails, much of its click fraud, and the vicious "denial of service" attacks that can knock sites offline and even destroy online businesses altogether. (more)

See: Your PC Might Be A Zombie If...

"So, uh, does this mean the Invisible Fence idea is out, too?"

Taiwanese high school students have launched a campaign to boycott a multi-function electronic identification card. They argued that the radio frequency identification (RFID) student card required by the Taipei City's Bureau of Education violates their rights to privacy.

According to Taipei Times, the High School Student's Rights Association (HSRA) launched the boycott campaign on Sunday. The newspaper quoted the HSRA's secretary, Wang Hao-zheng, as saying that the ID keeps students under strict surveillance like convicts or animals. (more)

UK - Ten students in a secondary school in the United Kingdom are being tracked through RFID implants in their school uniforms in a pilot program. (more)

Not all parents are thrilled. (more)
Not all governments are thrilled. (more)
(In case you don't know... Invisible Fence)

Lessons from Nature - Eavesdropping Iguanas

The Galapagos Marine Iguana is mute, it recognizes and utilizes the alarm call of the Galapagos Mockingbird. This is the first instance of a non-vocal species eavesdropping on another species’ calls. Both the iguana and mockingbird fall prey to the Galapagos hawk, so by recognizing the mockingbird’s warning the iguanas gain important information on avoiding predation. (more)

Being sensitive to clues in your environment can save you, too.

If you feel a funny vibration when you step on your car's brakes, trust your instincts. Inspect. Car vibrations never get better by themselves. They only get worse.

If you have the funny feeling you are being eavesdropped upon, trust your instincts. Inspect. The thought would not have occurred to you if everything were fine.
Your inspection station.)

Studs Puts Taps into Perspective

The Wiretap This Time
By STUDS TERKEL - Op-Ed Contributor
The New York Times
Published: October 29, 2007

EARLIER this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House agreed to allow the executive branch to conduct dragnet interceptions of the electronic communications of people in the United States. They also agreed to “immunize” American telephone companies from lawsuits charging that after 9/11 some companies collaborated with the government to violate the Constitution and existing federal law. I am a plaintiff in one of those lawsuits, and I hope Congress thinks carefully before denying me, and millions of other Americans, our day in court.

During my lifetime, there has been a sea change in the way that politically active Americans view their relationship with government. In 1920, during my youth, I recall... (more) or (more)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spooks Getting Spookier

Like previous rumors of psychic espionage programs operated by CIA, NSA, DIA, USAF, and the Navy, at a time when those programs were classified SECRET, word is getting out of a next generation effort. ...

"Spookytechnology" refers to real-world applications, under development right now, that utilize the weird aspects of quantum mechanics for next-generation 21st Century technologies. These include quantum computers, machines that in the words of Oxford's Dr. David Deutsch, compute using matter in other universes, to circuits built on quantum teleportation, with sights set on a next generation Internet using quantum encryption schemes that cannot be broken by ordinary physics.

Dr. Anthony Valentini has proposed using an explanation of the quantum known as pilot-wave theory. The pilot-wave appears as the guiding ghost-in-the-machine of Quantum Mechanics. Valentini has shown that the statistics of ordinary quantum mechanics might be violated by special non-quantum matter, which would have very strange properties indeed. The non-quantum matter could be used (presumably by someone like the NSA) to eavesdrop on theoretically unbreakable quantum secured communications.

Dr. Jack Sarfatti ... has gone even further than Valentini, by proposing that consciousness operates like Valentini's non-quantum matter, allowing for signals to be exchanged between different minds, "beyond space and time." ... Sarfatti suggests that this dance of the mind, body and spirit allows for the mind-to-mind communication reported by the psychic spy community. (more)

Ferrari still seething over spy affair

Despite winning the world championship, Ferrari CEO Jean Todt admitted the 2007 season has been a painful one for the Italians, with the spy scandal hovering over the unexpected achievement. ...

Former Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney is under criminal investigation in Italy for passing on confidential technical data from the Maranello-based outfit to McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan.

Todt said. "I wouldn't have expected this betrayal from one of ours, who for personal reasons wanted to help another team, and I didn't expect them (McLaren) to accept his help." (more)

Eavesdropping Joke (a rare item)

A guy is driving around the back woods of Tennessee and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: "Talking Dog for Sale".

He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

"You talk?" he asks.

"Yep," the lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says "So, what's your story?"

The Lab looks up and says, "Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA and they had me sworn into the toughest branch of the armed services ..the United States Marines you know one of their nicknames is "The Devil Dogs".

In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders; because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running, but the jetting around really tired me out and I knew I wasn't getting any younger. So, I decided to settle down.

I retired from the Corps (8 dog years is 56 Corps years) and signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in." "I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired."

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

"Ten dollars," the guy says.

"Ten dollars?!?!
This dog is amazing!
Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?"

"Because he's a liar.
He never did any of that stuff.
He was in the Navy!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"I Led Three Lives" 2007

The Strange Case of Alexander Litvinenko...
The former Russian spy (a lieutenant-colonel, no less) poisoned in a London hotel was an MI6 agent, the Daily Mail can reveal. Alexander Litvinenko was receiving a retainer of around £2,000 a month from the British security services at the time he was murdered.

The disclosure, by diplomatic and intelligence sources, is the latest twist in the Litvinenko affair, which has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their lowest point since the Cold War. (more)

The wife is the last to know...
My husband was never an agent for MI6. He was a critic of the Russian government but he spoke out openly. He was well-known. And his special area was organized crime, not intelligence. He was not the kind of person who would be useful to the British security services,” ~Marina Litvinenko (more)

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood...

Michael Mann, director of dramatic thrillers like "Heat" and "Collateral," is set to bring the story of poisoned ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko to the big screen.

According to the Litvinenko Justice Foundation, Mann will direct a film based on the book "Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB". It was co-written by the former Russian spy's widow Marina and his friend Alex Goldfarb. (more)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bond Goes Postal

James Bond has kept Britain safe from the world's villains for years. But now the spy has a new role — helping deliver the nation's letters.

Each of the stamps show different editions of six Bond books
Royal Mail unveiled a set of stamps yesterday that feature the covers of Ian Fleming's Bond novels. They will go on sale from Jan 8 to mark the 100th anniversary of the author's birth in 1908.

Fleming wrote 14 Bond novels, which have sold more 100 million across the world.

The six that will be depicted on the stamps, which will feature different editions of the same book, are Casino Royale, Dr No, Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and From Russia With Love. (more)

The Entertainment of Spying

Wes Britton's SpyWise.net website

Find answers to questions like...
- How much reality Is in spy movies and novels?
- What are the behind-the-scenes stories of films of the past and what's coming in the future?
- What are insiders saying about spy projects in and beyond the world of 007?

- Unique perspectives into every aspect of the real and fantastic.
- Exclusive interviews with authors and creators of docu-dramas and spy comedies.
- Rare artifacts from the 1950s along with memories of former intelligence agents.
- Resources you can't find anywhere else.
- Articles on everything from Old-Time Radio to weekly updates on the hottest news on collectibles and what's coming on DVD.

Secret Agent Television Shows, 1951-2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

NYT editor to discuss eavesdropping

OR - The freedom of the media to publish government secrets is the subject of a free talk Wednesday at Willamette University.

Philip Taubman, associate editor and special correspondent for The New York Times, will discuss "Why We Publish Secrets" at 8 p.m. in Smith Auditorium at Willamette, 900 State St.

He will talk about the decision to publish the National Security Agency eavesdropping story, White House pressure on the paper not to publish, and the ongoing constitutional and legal issues concerning that decision.

Taubman became associate editor for The Times in March, covering national security. He had been the paper's Washington bureau chief since August 2003. (more)

If you go...
What: Philip Taubman lecture
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Smith Auditorium, Willamette University, 900 State St., Salem, OR
Free Call: (503) 370-6058

...or, your could play that old Joe Jones song through the ceiling speakers.

South Africa - The Msunduzi Municipality is considering tapping the telephone lines of its employees to restrict runaway bills which cost more than R500 000 ($76,745.00) a month. ...

SA Human Rights Commission Chairperson Jody Kollapen said that while he opposed the abuse of public money, the move to tap telephone lines would be objectionable as it construed an invasion of privacy. (more) (Joe Jones song)

...whereupon the guy with the headphones blew his coffee and shorted out the patchbay.

Canada - The Law Society of Upper Canada is taking the RCMP to court in a bid to get its hands on wiretaps...

Mr. Peter Shoniker, a Toronto investment banker and one-time Crown prosecutor, was caught on police wiretaps in late 2003 boasting that there wasn't a "f---ing judge'' who would authorize a wiretap on his conversations.

"I'm untouchable, untouchable, untouchable by police," he said during one phone call. "Not a cop in this country would dare burn me, question my integrity." (more... much more)
"Laugha while you can, monkeyboy!" ~ Dr. Emilio Lizardo

SpyCam Story #399 - Counseling Counselor?

NY - A former Legal Aid Society lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally using a hidden videocamera to spy on female co-workers as they changed clothes in their offices.

Peter Barta, 32, of Queens, used a camera hidden in a clock to videotape five co-workers in the public defense agency's Manhattan offices, recording at least one woman with her breasts and buttocks bared.

The women told police they regularly changed clothes in their offices before and after work. (more)

Woman 'sacked for spying'

Scotland - A Council employee who was sacked after using her work computer to spy on her landlord husband's tenants has claimed she was unfairly dismissed. (more)

VoIP Security Alert - Eavesdropping, Spoofing, DoS

Sipera Systems, a VoIP security solutions company, said users of VoIP services and equipment from Vonage, Globe7 and Grandstream were vulnerable to eavesdropping, spam, spoofing, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

...the Globe7 VoIP Client does not use a secure connection, making it possible for an attacker to eavesdrop on calls, according to Sipera. (more) (threat advisory list)

Privacy Paradigm Shifts Shiftily. Worldwide Implications.

Australia - Police and other investigative bodies will be able to bug or track people for up to five days without needing a warrant, under legislation the State Government describes as "the biggest ever shake-up of surveillance laws in NSW law enforcement history".

Under the Surveillance Devices Bill police will also be given warrants to use the listening and tracking devices and hidden cameras for 90 days, instead of 21, to "cut red tape", the Premier, Morris Iemma, said in Parliament yesterday. (more)

CIA Venture Fund Focuses on Spy Gadgets

CA - Since In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999, the firm has reviewed more than 6,300 business plans for everything from identity recognition software to nano-sized electronic circuits. Many proposals come in via its Web site.

In-Q-Tel has put about $200 million into more than 100 companies,
beating traditional VC investors to technologies such as the mapping software that's become Google Earth.

...In-Q-Tel is the Arlington, Virginia-based VC business of the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. spying organization. (more)

...and its only a little larger than New Jersey!

Taiwan - The investigation authorities have resorted to wiretapping in 24,700 cases in the first nine months of this year, Minister of Justice Shih Mao-lin said Wednesday. (more)

Forget Valerie Plame...

Forget OS X 10.5...

The Spy Museum 2007 Holiday Catalog gets 'outted' today!

That's right, folks. Their cover is blown and everyone is after this document! Over 200 of the world's most wanted spy gadgets, clothing, toys, games, books and music ("there's a man who leads a life of danger...") (more)

This just in... "I'm not going away."

SpyCam Story #397 - Bond on a budget

Google Earth allows users to see detailed satellite images of almost anywhere on the planet, including some of the world's most high security locations. ITV's Damon Green explains why it has now been dubbed "the poor man's spy in the sky". (video)

Our clients have already been warned about the Google Earth vulnerability.

FutureWatch trends for companies vulnerable to aerial espionage or attack...
- Camouflage Retrofits (Lockheed Burbank aircraft plant 1941)
- Architectural 'Deceptiondesign' (underground parking, piping, roads, etc.)
- Decentralization
- Sight and Sound Abatement (clues to what is going on inside)
- Increased attention to counterespionage and eavesdropping detection.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Constitutional History of Wiretapping

Free College Lecture (.mp4 video)
The history of wiretapping from 1920-1970
Fundamental knowledge every (USA-based) professional TSCM'er should know.

"On September 17, 1787, the final draft of the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. Georgia Tech commemorated this historic event with a week of presentations and discussions concerning one of our country's most important founding documents." This is the wiretapping seminar.

Presented by: Robert
Pikowsky, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy, September 18, 2007 (video)

Cape Town PI Spy Investigation

South Africa - Premier Ebrahim Rasool announced an investigation after being briefed by Western Cape Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros.

This came as police confirmed that they were investigating whether the country's bugging laws had been broken during the city's private-eye investigation.

At the centre of the saga is whether the private investigator contracted to probe controversial councillor Badih Chaaban, or any politicians involved, may have bugged or illegally intercepted communications. Recordings and transcripts were found at the home of a private eye. (more)

The Birddog is alive and selling well

from their press release...
Law Enforcement Associates Corporation, the largest U.S. developer and manufacturer of undercover surveillance equipment, today announced that year-to-date sales of the company's new Birddog(TM) GPS tracking system have surpassed 100 units and have contributed approximately $750,000 to fiscal 2007 revenue.

About the Birddog
The Birddog was originally released by AID in the 1970s as a radio frequency (RF)-enabled tracking system. The Birddog ultimately became the most widely used covert tracking device by local and federal law enforcement agencies. LEA re-launched the Birddog in January 2007, when the company introduced an all-new tracking device based on advanced GPS technology. (more)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Keep your flock together with this new Bladerunner product, a tyke-tracker GPS jacket!

Bladerunner teamed up with one of the U.K.'s leading GPS operators and have developed a childrens trackable Jacket.

- Very long battery life
- Fast signal aquisition
- 2 Quick Dial buttons for SOS situations

You can set a boundary and if your child wanders outside of this then you will be notified by mobile phone. There is a £10 monthly charge which gives you access to a secure website where you can view every movement of your child whilst wearing the jacket. This even expands to a historical view where past days/weeks or even months movements can be viewed. (more)

Trust Buster or Good Parenting? You decide.

You will either find this Fox News Morning Show segment "Spying on Your Kids" fascinating, appalling, or both.

The hosts' giddiness about spying on the young ones bordered on perverse. The thought that Ra-parent technology could also be used to spy on spouses did not escape them either.

The obvious star of this 'show and tell' is Todd, the gadget peddler.

"A psychologist" is also present - to provide that famous Fox News Network balance. Unfortunately, her introduction is lost under the opening applause. Co-host, Mike, disses her comment, "You don't have to go to these extremes..." with a "Doctor, thank you but were going back to it anyway."

Tune in next time, when we ask the question, "Who will keep an eye on the 'adults'?" (video)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


"The World's Most Secure USB Flash Drive with Internet Protection Services."

One of these is on its way here for testing. I'll let you know how we make out.

In the meantime, make yourselves aware of it. The concept alone - a super-secure USB memory stick - makes this the 'authorized' info-fob of choice for business and government.

One really cool 'Mission Imposible' feature...
"To prevent unauthorized people or crimeware (malicious software such as viruses and Trojans) from gaining access to your encrypted drive, the IronKey prevents password guessing attacks (e.g. brute-force or dictionary attacks). After 10 incorrect password attempts (and ample warnings), the IronKey locks out all further password attempts. It initiates a patent-pending self-destruct sequence that securely and permanently erases your encryption keys and data."

If self-destruction doesn't produce a puff of smoke, I'll suggest it to them. (more) (datasheet)
(UPDATE 1 - One week later.)
I received an IronKey for testing and have been putting it through its paces for about a month now. Flawless, easy to use; as security should be. We are recommending this to our clients.
(UPDATE 2 - One year later.)
11/6/08 - Ironkey has made slow progress in getting itself to work with systems other than Windows XP and Vista. A Linux 2.6+ version was released last June.

The Macintosh version is at the same "alpha-level" it was at a year ago. "
We continue to work on developing Mac support, and plan to have Mac functionality available in a future release." Not acceptable.

More and more people are switching over to Macintosh at work. Some switch back and forth between work and home. This situation makes recommending Ironkey as a sole solution difficult for security consultants. Other companies, offer multi-platform support for their sticks – Windows Vista, 2000 SP4, XP, Mac OS10.x and above. (directions)

Idea... Roll your own Mac Encrypted Memory Stick, for FREE!

(I neither sell, nor receive commissions from, the products I recommend. Recommendations are made based solely on my client's best interests.)

This Week in Spy News...

Russia hits back over spy death
The Kremlin sought to turn the tables on Britain yesterday over the killing of Alexander Litvinenko, the dissident former security officer. (more)

Russia launches spy satellite
Russia on Tuesday launched a spy satellite to replenish its space-based military satellite cluster. (more)

India set to launch Israeli spy satellite
An Indian rocket may lift an Israeli spy satellite into orbit within days in the second deal to grab a share of the 2.5-billion-dollar global launch market, officials and reports said. (more)

Germany arrests suspected Sudanese spy
German police have arrested a Sudanese man suspected of spying on Sudanese opposition groups in Germany for Khartoum's intelligence service, the federal prosecutor's office said. (more)

Germany says Chinese state is behind cyber spying
The Chinese state is behind almost daily Internet espionage attacks on German companies and government bodies, a top German intelligence official said. (more)

Senator Denies AT&T, Verizon Cash Bought Spying Immunity Vote
Telecom executives - from companies seeking escape from privacy lawsuits accusing them of illegally collaborating with secret domestic spying programs - wrote thousands in checks to the re-election campaign of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) (more)

Spain thwarts alleged Venezuelan spying
Spanish authorities thwarted an effort to spy on Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during a visit to Venezuela in 2005, a report says. (more)

Spy chief to disclose secret: U.S. intel spending
The nation’s spy chief will soon divulge one of the government’s most tightly-held secrets: the size of the national intelligence budget. (more)

Israeli Spy got Inside Intel for Syrian Reactor Attack
As more of the details surrounding the mysterious Israeli raid seep out about the destroyed Syrian nuclear reactor located near the Iraqi border, what emerges is that Israel had hard evidence from a spy or mole inside the facility who took pictures that were the hard evidence. That, plus detailed spy satellite pictures were provided to the US Intelligence community in July. (more)

Law firm fears government is tapping phones
VT - A law firm that represents clients at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan is warning its Vermont clients that it believes the federal government has been monitoring its phones and computer system. (more)

British spy agency recruits via video games
A British intelligence agency is seeking spies in cyberspace. GCHQ, the surveillance arm of British intelligence, said Thursday it hopes to attract computer-savvy young recruits by embedding job ads within video games such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent. (more)

First, Pro. Then, College. Now, High School.

FL - Collier County's prep edition of "Spygate'' may have been nothing more than a misunderstanding, or so the coaches at the heart of the mini-controversy claimed on Tuesday. ...

"Spygate'' was one of the names associated with the New England Patriots illegally videotaping sideline calls by opposing teams that the team was penalized for by the NFL earlier this season.

The accusations started flying on Saturday, when Albonizio and a few of his coaches confronted an elderly couple that they believed were filming his team's 44-14 win over McMahon for Naples. (more)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SpyCam Story #396 - Spy Shop Boys

Remember Dumb and Dumber, the two burglars caught on 17 cameras when robbing a spy surveillance gear shop back in July?

Well, we found the video!

Public Audio Surveillance Hits London

UK - "We're well aware of the security cameras already all over the city, but it looks like Londoners will also have to brace themselves for audio surveillance, too. In order to break up gangs, London police have begun a program using audio bugs placed in public places.

Public eavesdropping, sans warrants, by law enforcement is sure to rankle some privacy advocates. Authorities are hoping a drop in crime will quell the inevitable uproar. We shall see." (more) Bugs used to fight London gangs. (more)

"I'm Bugging Your Phone" (with audio clip)

You know eavesdropping and wiretapping are well-entrenched in our society when people are singing about it, dancing to it and even taking it as a moniker - like Wiretap Scars.

Eavesdrop - Joanna "Rain" Raphael
Eavesdropping - Carol Slade
Eavesdropping - Anne Lindsay
Eavesdropping - d1sh1tu
Eavesdropping - Michail Sicas
Invitation To Eavesdrop - Shaun Groves
Hanging On The Phone - BWO
The Wiretap - Your Enemies Friends
Probably not. Good listening rarely involves eavesdropping. Hence, the old saying, "An eavesdropper never hears anything good about themselves."

There are tons of Private Investigator, Spy and Detective lyrics, too. Your chances of remembering these are better: Searchin', Peek-A-Boo, Secret Agent Man and the gloved one's famous Somebody Is Watching Me.

Rarely, however, has there been a more blatant expression of illegal eavesdropping than I’m Bugging Your Phone - by The Smith Connection

(from blog.allmusic.com)
...basically tells its addressee to seek a restraining order: “I’m buggin’ your phone, baby / Startin’ an investigation.” It’s not posed as a conditional threat. It’s posed as “I am doing this once I obtain the equipment and access to your telephone.” The protagonist complains about being avoided, finding notes, and some other things. The addressee should’ve allowed the bug to be placed, if only to have held a conversation in which she said, “I am through with that fool, specifically the fool who is bugging my phone.”
(more) (audio clip)

Art reflects life.
Eavesdropping is real life.
Take care. Beware.

SpyCam Story #395 - Attentive Maintenence

SD - A Sioux Falls apartment maintenance worker is in jail accused of setting up a camera in his neighbor's apartment to spy on her.

Fifty-three-year-old Burton Morehead is charged with a misdemeanor crime called "trespassing with the intent to eavesdrop."

The 26-year-old woman who lives next door to Morehead found a webcam-style camera in her bathroom ceiling tile. She called 911, and police say they followed the cables into Morehead's apartment, where they were hooked into a TV.

Officers say there were several suspicious-looking holes drilled between the two apartments. (more) (video)

SpyCam Story #394 - Unauthorized Footsie

IL - An East Dundee podiatrist has been charged with eavesdropping and solicitation of sex after police said they found a hidden camera and videotapes and DVDs in his office showing him in sex acts with female patients in an examining room.

Dr. Steven Paul Loheide, 63, of 1002 Twisted Oak in Algonquin, works at Fox Valley Podiatry, 210 Penny Ave. He was charged in court Friday with eavesdropping without consent and possession of an eavesdropping device, both felonies, according to court records.

Loheide also was charged with the misdemeanors of unauthorized videotaping, battery and solicitation of a sex act, according to court records.

East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee said their investigation began last Wednesday when an employee of Fox Valley Podiatry called police after she found a videotape of herself dressing and undressing in the examination room.

She said she was unaware that the videotaping had occurred and that she found the hidden camera in the examination room. (more) (update)

Five Red Hot 'Shoplifter in Custody' Tips

Charles A. Sennewald, CPP - one of the world's leading shoplifting security experts - shares 5 red hot do not's for when you have a shoplifter in custody:

1. Don't threaten a detained person with any use of force, exposure or incarceration.
2. Don't make any promises of rewards, benefits or leniency in return for cooperation.

3. Don't use any profanity, abusive or offensive at or in the presence of a person detained, even if provoked.

4. Don't belittle, make light of, laugh at or otherwise ridicule a detained person.

5. Don't make any comments about a person's race, ethnic origin or religion.

"Extend the same dignity to the person in your custody, you'd appreciate and hope to receive if the shoe was on the other foot.

Want to know more about Chuck?
Profile: IAPSC.org
Website: shoplifting.com

Monday, October 22, 2007

Landlord accused of eavesdropping on tenants

NY - A landlord has been arrested after being accused of placing an eavesdropping device under the kitchen cabinets of two tenants he was trying to evict, Suffolk County police said Monday.

John Gordon, 48, bought the mini electronic transmitter on the Internet and installed it when the tenants were not home, police said.

Gordon, who has another apartment in the house, was arrested Sunday and charged with burglary and eavesdropping. (more) (more)

...and you thought O.J. was bugged.

O.J. Simpson apparently doesn't have enough to worry about with two co-defendants in his Vegas robbery case ready to testify against him. Now a private eye who worked for Simpson is alleging that the disgraced gridiron star once hired notorious Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano to bug and harass Nicole Brown Simpson.

Bill Pavelic, the lead investigator for Simpson's defense team during his criminal trial for the murders of Nicole and Ron Goldman, says: "I know for a fact that Nicole Brown Simpson was a victim of stalking and that her cars and residence had been wiretapped."

Pavelic, a 19-year veteran of the LAPD, believes Simpson hired Pellicano to do eavesdropping based, in part, on similarities to the bugging devices he says Pellicano planted at Michael Jackson 's Neverland Ranch.

Pellicano is currently in prison for illegal wiretapping.

"Cops knew about Pellicano's wiretapping of Nicole,"
alleges Pavelic, who will tell more in his book, "Guilty of Incompetence." "Had Nicole not been murdered, his wiretapping would have been exposed long ago." (more)

Spybuster's Tip #104 - $20. Unbuggable Phone

If this were art, it would be labeled "retro irony."

A land-line telephone that can be put in a paper envelope and sent to someone by snail-mail? There would be knowing nods, winks and guffaws all over the gallery.

But British industrial-design firm Priestman Goode isn't kidding. Its Post A Phone is meant as a "failsafe backup" when more sophisticated wireless technology goes off-line. (more)

Cheap enough to keep a spare one in your purse or jacket pocket. Thin enough so bugs can't be installed or internal wiring compromised. Just find a random analog line jack, plug in and make a 'safe' call.

In a work environment, finding an analog jack is usually just a matter of unplugging a fax machine or speakerphone unit.

At home, find your 'demarc' junction box, unplug the household wiring and plug this phone directly into the outside wiring - thus bypassing any internal wiretaps or recording devices!

No word on where you can actually buy a 'Post A Phone' yet. We will keep you 'posted'. Disposable phones are nothing new, however. We have reported on them before.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SpyCam Story #393 - Teddy Bear Cam

UK - A man obsessed with a teenage girl gave her a teddy bear with a tiny camera in its eye so he could spy on her.

John Howell also gave her a pen fitted with a camera to relay images to a video machine where he could watch the girl, Lincoln Crown Court heard. His obsession was so great that he also installed a software program on her computer which allowed him to read all her e-mails.

The 43-year-old Inland Revenue worker, was caught after the 13-year-old girl’s father spotted something was wrong with the teddy and called police. Detectives seized Howell’s laptop and briefcase full of surveillance equipment from his home in Market Deeping. (more)

Spybuster's Tip #103 - Spot the Spy

Joe Navarro is an ex-FBI agent. His job was spotting spies. His weapon... he reads body language. These days, Joe writes and teaches poker players how to win.

He can help you spot deceit in your business as well.

Joe says...

"Poker players lie all the time. They pretend they are strong when they are weak or weak when they are strong. The truth is they can all be read. You can have a poker face, but I've yet to see someone with a poker body."

"When you are feeling good _ or have a monster hand _ your body will manifest what it feels. You get happy feet. Your feet begin to bounce up and down like a kid going to Disney World.
We squint at things we don't like. ... The involuntary nonverbal mannerisms dictated by the brain will always betray the strength or weakness of a player's hand."

"If your boss asks at a meeting, `Who is not pulling their weight?', the shoulders will rise on those who are not confident. It's called `The Turtle Effect.' You are trying to hide your head inside your shoulders. On the contrary, a person whose fingertips meet like a church steeple with the thumb pointed up indicates a winning hand."

Want to know more?

Joe's website
A list of common spy personality traits.
Joe teaches at the World Series of Poker Academy

What Every BODY is Saying:
An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People
(due out in April, 2008)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Judge dismisses police dispatchers' wiretapping suit

IA - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by three Clinton County emergency dispatchers who alleged their private phone conversations made on a work phone line were illegally recorded.

Senior U.S. District Judge Harold Vietor ruled that the federal wiretapping law exempts law enforcement agencies that record phone calls as part of routine police practice. (more)

Eavesdropping - Sometimes its for data

Hackers stole millions of credit card numbers from discount retailer TJX Cos. by intercepting wireless transfers of customer information at two Miami-area Marshalls stores, according to an eight-month investigation by the Canadian government.

The probe, led by Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, faulted TJX for failing to upgrade its data encryption system by the time the electronic eavesdropping began in July 2005. The break-in ultimately gave hackers undetected access to TJX's central databases for a year and a half, exposing at least 45 million credit and debit cards to potential fraud. (more)

Provoked thoughts...
• What wireless technologies is your company dependent upon?
• Are you sure your voice and data are secure from eavesdropping?
• Do you conduct searches for eavesdropping devices?
• How much damage would eavesdropping create before you noticed?

Holiday Gift Idea #101 - Spy Clock

Spy Clock
Designed by Pieter Woudt

A convex glass mirror with sleek metal hands. Only time can sneak up on you now!

One AA-battery (not included).
Size: 12diam. x 2"d Item# 69573
Available at the MoMAstore.
$25.00 / $20.00 for members

Friday, October 19, 2007

Unchecked Eavesdropping Kills Bottom Lines

Rarely do we see an exact corporate dollar figure loss caused by eavesdropping and wiretapping. Vodafone must hold the world's record with $136+ million in fines, not to mention good-will and revenue losses.

Greece's telecoms regulator has fined the Greek unit of Vodafone 19.1 million euros
for breaching privacy rules.

The fine is the second imposed over a wiretapping scandal that rocked the country last year. In 2006, Greece revealed that more than 100 people, including the country's prime minister, had their mobile phones tapped around the time of the Athens 2004 Olympics.

In December 2006, Greece's privacy watchdog fined Vodafone Hellas 76 million euros for a "number of infringements attributed to the company", without giving details.

Last month, the privacy watchdog also fined the Greek unit of telecom equipment maker Ericsson more than 7 million euros over the wiretapping affair.

The bugged phones were found to have been tapped mostly before and during the Athens Games by unknown eavesdroppers. (more)

Moral: Ignorance of eavesdropping and wiretapping is no excuse. You need to pro-actively conduct inspections as part of your due diligence.

You think the airport security lines are long now?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has gone to many strange places in its search for ways to identify terrorists before they attack, but perhaps none stranger than this lab on the outskirts of Russia's capital. The institute has for years served as the center of an obscure field of human behavior study -- dubbed psychoecology -- that traces it roots back to Soviet-era mind control research.

What's gotten DHS' attention is the institute's work on a system called Semantic Stimuli Response Measurements Technology, or SSRM Tek, a software-based mind reader that supposedly tests a subject's involuntary response to subliminal messages.

The "player" -- a traveler at an airport screening line, for example -- presses a button in response to the images, without consciously registering what he or she is looking at. The terrorist's response to the scrambled image involuntarily differs from the innocent person's, according to the theory.

Gear for testing MindReader 2.0 software hangs on a wall at the Psychotechnology Research Institute in Moscow. Marketed in North America as SSRM Tek, the technology will soon be tested for airport screening by a U.S. company under contract to the Department of Homeland Security. (more)

Free 'Safe Room' Design Guide

Free, 264-page .pdf book, from FEMA...

"...intended to provide guidance for engineers, architects, building officials, and property owners to design shelters and safe rooms in buildings. It presents information about the design and construction of shelters in the work place, home, or community building that will provide protection in response to manmade hazards."

"...will assist in the planning and design of shelters that may be constructed outside or within dwellings or public buildings. These safe rooms will protect occupants from a variety of hazards, including debris impact, accidental or intentional explosive detonation, and the accidental or intentional release of a toxic substance into the air. Safe rooms may also be designed to protect individuals from assaults and attempted kidnapping, which requires design features to resist forced entry and ballistic impact."

Risk Management Series - Design Guidance for Shelters and Safe Rooms (download)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

16 SpyCams - Vote for the silliest!

from the oobject.com website...
"The progress of technology has overtaken the mystique of the hidden camera such that we have been invaded by a million spy cams embedded in wholesale crap.
Vote for the silliest." (vote here)
Cameras hidden in everyday objects may seem silly... until the lens is aiming at you.

Take, for example, the Number 1 voted 'silly' spycam - the Wireless Hairdryer Spycam. Funny, unless you just stepped out of the shower and are holding one - embarrassing.

SpyCams in the office are worse; embarrassing, with expensive consequences.

We are really good at finding spycams. Here is how we do it... (more)

Spybuster's Tip #102 - Technical Security Website

Bookmark Secunia.
They publish technical security vulnerability alerts every day.
The following is an excerpt from an alert earlier today...

Secunia Advisory: SA27234
Release Date: 2007-10-18


Some vulnerabilities have been reported in various Nortel products, which can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service) and to eavesdrop with affected devices.

...it is possible to send spoofed "Open Audio Stream" messages to an IP phone. This can be exploited to open an audio channel and eavesdrop with the IP phone. (more)

Find Your Password!

Possibly, the top 10 most common passwords...
• password
• 123456
• qwerty
• abc123
• letmein
• monkey
• myspace1
• password1
• link182
• (your first name)
What? You don't see your password here?!?!
Source: pcmag.com

iPhone... 'A Perfect Spying Device'

"A rootkit takes on a whole new meaning when the attacker has access to the camera, microphone, contact list, and phone hardware," renowned hacker HD Moore said regarding a security vulnerability in Apple's iPhone. "Couple this with 'always-on' Internet access over EDGE and you have a perfect spying device," he added. (more)

HD Moore, one of the developers of the Metasploit pen-testing (and hacking) tool, has posted exploits and detailed instructions on how to attack an iPhone. The information takes hackers -- and the FBI and NSA -- one step closer to being able to remotely and surreptitiously take control of an iPhone and turn it into a surveillance device. (more)

Colleges Take Spying As Serious Threat

OK - High fences. Seven security guards. No, this isn't the look of a low-security prison; it's daily protocol for safeguarding Oklahoma football practice from spies.

Six weeks ago, the New England Patriots made spying a national story, when the NFL punished coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots for spying on the New York Jets.

But long before, college coaches — especially at OU — have taken spying as a serious threat. (more)

Interesting observation...
Business executives (who have much more to lose) don't take spying as seriously as
college athletic departments.

Peeping Neighbor Faces Prison Time (update)

OH - A Jackson Township man pleaded guilty today to spying on his neighbors and having child pornography on his computer.

Aaron A. Ridenbaugh, 32, of 4336 Foxhaven Ave. NW, is charged with:
• Three counts of felony interception of wire, oral or electronic communications.
• Three counts of pandering sexual-oriented materials involving a minor.
• A single count of felony illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented material and performance.

Ridenbaugh also is charged with four counts of voyeurism, all misdemeanors.

In May, township police arrested Ridenbaugh for making a secret audio recording of his neighbors’ sexual exploits. He later admitted to making a recording and told investigators about two prior acts of voyeurism at the same apartment complex.

At the time of his arrest, he was an associate at a law firm in Cuyahoga Falls. (more)

Apparently, everyone got tired.

PA - Rescue crews freed a woman trapped under a sport utility vehicle.

Police said the woman feared her husband was cheating on her. They said she went to spy on him by crawling under an SUV outside her husband’s alleged girlfriend’s house. She apparently fell asleep under the vehicle and became trapped after someone let the air out of the tires.

Police are trying to determine who let the air out of the tires. So far, no charges have been filed. (more)

Spying - Personally Appalling vs. Business Reasonable

First, Progressive Insurance spied on its own customers during a private church confessional.

Then, the CEO admitted the actions on the company's Web page, took full responsibility, described them as "appalling" and apologized. Now, in legal documents Progressive's denying any wrongdoing, saying its actions were "reasonable."

It's all enough to make a cynic out of even the lawyer suing Progressive over the spying incident.

Lawyer Wayne Grant, who represents the couple that sued Progressive, now contends the public apology was just a ruse.

"There is no way you can say appalling can be reasonable," Grant said. "Now they are trying to act as if the CEO never made the statements." (more)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rat Race - Art Immitates Life

Rat Race, an episodic comedy adventure (Sony PS3 computer game) set in a crazy sitcom styled office. ... Rat Race is described thusly: "Sometimes we describe Rat Race as an interactive sitcom, but that doesn’t do it justice. There’s more to the experience than funny dialogue. Along the way you’ll sneak, sprint, solve puzzles, eavesdrop, steal..." (more)
...not to mention your kids will learn sarcasm, wisecracking and generally poor workplace etiquette.
Out just in time for the holiday season.
"Ho, ho, ho!"
Hey, who you callin' a Ho?!?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When does intelligence become spying?

Lessons from the NFL...

"Yes, business spying really does happen. This may be old news, but it’s a timely reminder for those companies wanting to stay out of the courtroom." ...

"When it comes to spying, major corporations sometimes succumb to the same temptation as the Patriots did, with the same embarrassing results. Big names like Oracle, Procter + Gamble, Hitachi, and Hewlett Packard are among the more notable firms that have been accused of spying in recent years. Each incident received embarrassing front-page treatment. The press has a heyday with these corporate moral pratfalls. But are they breaches of the law or just severe ethical lapses? Mike Sandman, Fuld & Company Senior Vice President, was interviewed by CNBC on September 12, about how companies can avoid crossing over the line and still watch their competition." ~ Leonard Fuld, pioneer in the field of competitive intelligence. (more)

Moral: Don't spy... and, don't be someone else's victim.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Workplace Eavesdropping - Hidden Voice Recorder

AL - A hidden recording device was found at a Valley college. The interim president (Lavell Thrasher) of Snead State Community College in Boaz contacted the FBI after a mini-cassette tape recorder was found attached to the underside of a desk. ...

The device was found in the maintenance director's office, who apparently didn't know about it. Employee evaluations have recently been taking place in that office. This incident is still under investigation.

Thrasher doesn't know how long it will take to get to the bottom of it. (more)

This bugging device was found by accident.
Everyone should be so lucky.
Security directors who don't depend on luck call

FutureWatch - The Death of the Cubicle

Cubicles have become jokes.
Their popularity is waning.

One major reason...
and privacy issues.

"It (a cubicle) gives you this incredibly false sense of privacy," said Carl Bass, chief executive of software maker Autodesk Inc., who is pushing for more open layouts at his own company. (more)