Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Hello, Moto!"

IL - A Chinese spy was caught "red-handed," according to federal authorities, as she was about to board a plane at O'Hare bound for Beijing. Hanjuan Jin says she worked as a computer engineer for Schaumburg-based Motorola, a global leader in communications technology.

Federal agents say Jin was also working as a spy for a Chinese company, and she has been charged in a corporate espionage case that reflects a growing national security problem.

• She downloaded hundreds of confidential documents from the company's supposedly secure internal network. Value = $600 million (Motorola estimate.)
Arrived at O'Hare Airport with a one-way ticket to Beijing.
• Declared $10,000.00 cash. She was really carrying $30,000.00.

(more, with video) (red-handed spy catch in Illinois - not the first time)

It was only a routine check of passengers by customs agents that revealed she was carrying the cash and a laptop computer with
more than 30 compact data storage devices containing stolen Motorola files.

Imagine the counterespionage successes you can accomplish in your company with routine checks.
(Mr. Moto is a fictional Japanese spy played by Peter Lorre, a Polish Jew.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

IMF's aren't known for giving 'comp time'

One unintended consequence of India and Pakistan establishing better relations in the last year, is a bunch of lawsuits by former Indian spies against the Indian government.

The former spies are suing to obtain pay for the years they have spent in Pakistani jails. That's because both countries have freed hundreds of men who had been imprisoned for spying, but the agencies that hired these men, often will still not admit it. (more)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Bugs of Margaritaville

Another employee vs. boss illegal bugging story.
But the case gets weirder...
Key West, FL - ...suspended Key West police officer Thomas Neary was fired Wednesday for telling people he was an undercover federal agent investigating corruption in the Police Department and looking into possible terrorist attacks...

The Neary investigation even involved bugging Lt. Kathleen Ream's office to record conversations she had with him. Transcripts from the bugging show some statements that indicate Neary told Ream he and his wife are federal agents...

In a casual conversation before the investigation began, "Officer Neary told [detective Bradley Lariz] that he had [City Commissioner Mark Rossi's] plane and house bugged and that they were watching him. He also told Lariz that he was watching and doing an investigation on Sgt. Robert Allen."

It's not clear what he was inferring with Rossi, but with Allen, he allegedly accused the sergeant of transporting drugs to Cuba in a police boat. (more)

On Taping Your Own Conversations, Legally

IN - A Carmel man who claimed he set up a voice recorder to capture conversations with his wife before their divorce action has been acquitted of criminal wiretapping.

A Hamilton Circuit Court jury found the man not guilty of the Class C felony offense of interception of telephonic communications. (more)
Indiana is a one-party consent state, meaning only one person who is being recorded needs to agree to the recording. Some states require all parties to consent. Want to know the law for your state? Check here.

Unified Communications - Beware the Dark Side

Unified Communications refers to an umbrella of technologies that are likely already familiar to corporate users: Instant messaging, that lets users chat with others in real-time using a simple client interface; presence, which allows users to see who is available on IM, but also what is active on the network; and unified messaging, the combination of e-mail, voice, and fax in a single in-box that offers users access at any time from any device.

The products come as hardware and software combinations, stand-alone software, software suites, or as a hosted service. When working together, these tools aim to simplify the lives of professionals... (more) (more)

• UC is a bigger, juicer, easier target for spies and hackers than each system individually.
• Court-ordered electronic surveillance of UC systems is easier and more productive.
• UC system breakdowns / sabotage will mean more $$$ lost than with current devices.

Spy-Sized Flash Drives - "SWALLOW IF CAUGHT"

Available in sizes up to 8 GB.

imationBrandoSonySuper Talent

Sing-along! "Every single day, Every word you say, I'll be watching you."

Executives who often work on the move or in public places had better be more discreet about their business conversations and documents.

A survey in Britain and the United States, released last week, found that eavesdropping in public places was common.

Information exchanged during supposedly private business conversations were also used by others for their own advantage, according to survey findings.

Conducted by flexible work solutions provider Regus, the survey found that 67 per cent of Britons had listened in on someone else's business conversation while they were in public places.

Americans were also guilty of this act - 59 per cent of those polled did just that.

Besides eavesdropping, the habit of sneaking a peek at other people's business documents in public places, such as while on the train, was also not unheard of.

Nearly two out of five British professionals (35 per cent) and 34 per cent of Americans surveyed said they had caught sight of other people's sensitive company documents.

And the shocking thing was that 13 per cent of Britons and 19 per cent of Americans said they were able to use the information overheard for their own business purposes. (more)

Larry, The IT Guy (No... make that, Spy)

Security Directors, CEOs, Chief Legal Counsels:
Immediately after you read this, make sure you have a clear, concise written policy in place detailing allowable IT behavior.

One in three IT administrators say they or one of their colleagues have used top-level admin passwords to pry into confidential or sensitive information at their workplace, according to a survey by a password-management vendor.

Nearly half also confessed that they have poked around systems for information not relevant to their jobs.

"We asked these questions last year, too," said Adam Bosnian, vice president of product strategy and sales for Cyber-Ark, a Newton, Mass.-based maker of password file security management software. "And we got similar results. So on one hand, the results weren't surprising. What was surprising initially -- and this time around, too -- is that people admit to it." (more)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Remind Employees - "Don't sing!"

One in five U.S. workers regularly attends after-work drinks with co-workers, where the most common mishaps range from bad-mouthing another worker to kissing a colleague and drinking too much, according to a study... (survey conducted for

As to what happens when the after-work drinks flow...
Five percent said they had shared a secret about the company, and 4 percent confessed to singing karaoke.

Overall, 21 percent of workers attend happy hours with co-workers and, of those, nearly a quarter go at least once a month. (more)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Smart Spy Cameras

UK - Intelligent CCTV cameras are being developed in Britain that not only see trouble but are able to hear it, scientists said.

The technology allows the sounds of breaking glass, someone shouting, or the noise of a crowd gathering to be 'learned' by artificial intelligence software in the cameras.

The technology could slash the speed with which crimes are caught on camera and responded to by police but will again raise a debate about the extent of "surveillance Britain" and the use of such technology.

The three-year project by the University of Portsmouth aims to adapt artificial intelligence software already being developed to identify visual patterns. (more)

Amazing Spy Gear - PENCAM-15C

Better yet...
A. Can you guess how little it costs?
B. Can you guess the recording time?
C. Can you guess her phone number?

Need three or more?
Call the source.
Need some counterespionage help?
Call someone who knows this stuff exists, me.

Time to A-ppeal!!!

We work in The Big Apple.
We see a lot of weird things;
everything from
terrestrial Victorian borescopes to the Naked Cowboy.

Naked Cowboy drives to work each day between 11 and noon, in costume, with his female companion. 'Naked' parks in the same 43rd Street garage we use, jumps out and gets right to work. Doesn't matter whether it is 95 degrees and sunny, or 20 degree with snow. He is there. He makes millions smile. Want a photo with him; just stuff a buck in his boot and click away.

Whattaguy! Hard working. A real Robert Lampf 'dare to be
different' original.

Here is the outrage...

"A judge said a Times Square entertainer who wears just enough to justify the name the "Naked Cowboy" can continue a lawsuit he brought against a blue M&M.

Federal Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan on Monday stripped Robert Burck of some of his claims that a blue M&M wearing a white cowboy hat, cowboy boots and underpants violates his trademarks.

But the judge left intact one strand of that lawsuit. Mr. Chin said Mr. Burck might be able to prove that Mars Inc., which makes M&Ms, unfairly gave the impression that he had endorsed its advertising campaign.

For its part, Mars says the ad campaign was a parody and is protected by the First Amendment." (source)

I wonder how M&M would take it if Naked Cowboy took Big Blue, x'ed out his eyes, cracked his shell, and propped him up in a 42nd St. doorway with an empty whiskey bottle??? Parody? Art, perhaps?

Naked Cowboy will survive – and ride off into the sunset in a big black Cadillac SUV.
Go Naked.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spying Spouses

Family law can sometimes involve “good people, behaving badly.”

That’s according to Laura W. Morgan, of Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Va., who offers the tale of a hypothetical client named Mary, who thinks her husband, John, is cheating on her and using marital funds to pay for his trysts. Among other tactics, Mary purchased surveillance software, popularly known as “spyware,” and installed it on a shared computer, so she could read John’s password-protected e-mails and see the Web sites he visits. She additionally took the computer to a forensic computer specialist, who made a copy of the hard drive and then found scads of evidence that could be damaging to John in a divorce.

Mary is what Morgan calls a “self-help” spouse, because she has forgone formal electronic discovery — and it was easy and fairly inexpensive for her to do that. The problem is she may have broken a few laws in the process. (more)

Man Used Cell Phone to Bug Ex-girlfriend

A Swedish man has been given a suspended sentence for converting a cell phone to a bugging device to confirm his suspicions about his ex-girlfriend. A court in Hasselholm in southern Sweden also imposed a fine.

The man hid the phone behind the headboard of his girlfriend's bed, hooking up the charger to a bedside lamp. He set the phone up so, when he called it, the phone allowed him to hear what was being said in her room -- and he learned his ex- had indeed met someone else.

The court found the man's violation of his former girlfriend's privacy was so serious that a fine alone was not enough. (more)

Open Season on Bugging Cellphones

The Geek Chorus welcomes Alan Reiter, President of Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing as he echos our warnings, in his well-written piece 'Open Season on Bugging Cellphones'...

"Silently, but with increasing frequency, government agencies and private individuals around the world are bugging cellular phones. Some of those phones are surreptitiously transmitting copies of their SMS, emails, call histories, and locations to Websites where the data may be viewed by those who have installed the clandestine software.

Most cellular subscribers don't have to worry about this happening to them, at least not yet. But anyone -- suspected criminals, spies, corporate executives, spouses, and even ex-lovers -- could be targeted. Thanks to software you can purchase over the Web, you don't have to be a secret agent to listen to cellular conversations or retrieve data transmissions.

Recently, a Swedish man was found guilty of hiding a cellular phone behind the headboard of his ex-girlfriend’s bed and remotely turning on the phone to listen to conversations..." (more)

Spy News of the Week

Sweden - "Earlier this week the Swedish stasi-government decided -- against the peoples wishes -- to wiretap all internet and telephone traffic in order to protect Sweden against threats. As you all know, being a neutral country makes Sweden a target for all the terrorists of the world, apparently," blogs one of The Pirate Bay's admins, Peter Sunde. "Many people have asked me what we're planning to do -- and the answer is 'A lot!'. This week we're going to add SSL to The Pirate Bay. We're also going to help out making a website about easy encryption -- both for your hard drives and your net traffic." (more)

Germany - German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is going to get yet another scolding. German public television channel ZDF reported the former operator turned self-spying agency wire tapped a few customers. Apparently 120 calls were illegally tapped by the company, without any court order or involvement of the police. (more)

UK - Every council in England will today be instructed to stop using tough laws to spy on people over "trivial matters" such as dog-fouling and litter offences. (more)

New Zealand - A 21-year-old peeping tom has been caught spying on his female neighbour in Dunedin. The Otago University student was nabbed peering through a flat window just before 9pm yesterday. (more)

India - This year the Delhi University saw many of the "spy students" hired by private detective agencies being roped in by parents to keep an eye on their wards. However... a growing number of students are visiting detective agencies and are offering handsome amounts to them to know whether their parents have hired any "spy students", mainly girls, to keep a watch on their activities. (more)

United States - Xiaodong Sheldon Meng, 44, who was raised in China and holds Canadian citizenship, was sentenced on the rare charge of committing economic espionage against the U.S. It's the most serious crime under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 and involves stealing trade secrets to benefit a foreign government. (more)

South Africa - Th
e bugging devices of the former dispensation, which were used in foreign embassies in South Africa and had been planted by an espionage front company, are still being used. (more)

Switzerland - A left-wing campaign group asked Swiss authorities on Friday to investigate Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA for allegedly hiring a spy to infiltrate the group. A Swiss chapter of anti-globalization group Attac filed the legal complaint in Vaud canton (state), after learning that an employee of Securitas AG security company took part in its private meetings between late 2003 and June 2004... (more)

United States - US information security company Cyber-Ark surveyed 300 senior IT professionals, and found that one-third admitted to secretly snooping, while 47 per cent said they had accessed information that was not relevant to their role. (more)

Bulgaria - A man applied for a job as an industrial spy. Together with several other applicants, he was given a sealed envelope and told to take it to the fourth floor. As soon as the man was alone, he stepped into an empty hallway and opened the envelope. Inside, a message read: "You're our kind of person. Report to the fifth floor Personnel Office." (source)

SpyCam Story #451 - Cheap Thrill

A 52-year-old Long Island man has been arrested on charges of videotaping women's private body parts as they shopped at a dollar store. Nassau County police say the man followed unsuspecting women around the store in Baldwin and placed a camcorder under their clothing. (more)
Perhaps he was also shopping for DSPM parts?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Corporate Espionage Detailed in Documents

It is rare to see hard evidence of corporate espionage.

Well-executed corporate espionage goes undetected.

This is unusual...

In the 1990s, a Maryland-based private detective agency composed of former CIA agents and law enforcement officers spied...

The agency, Beckett Brown International, had an operative at meetings of a group in Rockville that accused a nursing home of substandard care. In Louisiana, it kept tabs on environmental activists after a chemical spill. In Washington, it spied on food safety activists who had found taco shells made with genetically modified corn not approved for human consumption.

BBI, which was founded in 1995, disbanded in 2000, and the activists might never have learned they were spied on. But a disgruntled BBI investor began digging through company records two years ago and has been contacting the former targets. He also gave The Washington Post access to the records, which provide an unusually detailed look into the secretive world of corporate spying.

Not all of BBI's work targeted activists: Lysol wanted details of a New Jersey high school student's science fair project about cleaning products. Mary Kay executives sought a secret "psychological assessment" of a fellow executive. A consultant working for Nestlé wanted information about rivals Mars and Whetstone Candy...

An undercover operative not identified in the documents was named to the governing board of CLEAN. "I will be in the 'inner circle' and included in all the planning meetings," he wrote in an e-mail.

The operative reported on meetings held at the law office after business hours and on private conversations about lawsuits, one of which took place in a parking lot because of concern that meeting rooms were bugged. (more)

Now you know why eavesdropping and espionage detection is part of every good corporate security program.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Electronic Surveillance Law Updates

U.S. - The House yesterday easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that effectively shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government's terrorism-era warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country.

The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government's responsibility to protect the country against attack, taking into account changes in telecommunications technologies.

The House's passage of the FISA Amendment bill marks the beginning of the end to a months long standoff between Democrats and Republicans about the rules for government wiretapping inside the United States. The Senate was expected to pass the bill with a large margin, perhaps as soon as next week, before Congress takes a break during the week of the Fourth of July. (more)

Sweden - Sweden's parliament has approved controversial new laws allowing authorities to spy on cross-border e-mail and telephone traffic. The country's intelligence bureau will be able to scan international calls, faxes and e-mails. ...The bill will become law in January. (more)

How Legal Wiretapping Works in the U.S.

The days of sitting in a basement, monitoring a line, using your Audiotechnics pocket 'buttset' with alligator clips is over. G-people now sit at computers in their air-conditioned offices. The process was simply explained, by arlene, in this post...

CALEA requires that communications providers allow law enforcement officials to be able to listen in on phone conversations and get information about those phone calls, but only when the law enforcement agency has gotten approval for the tap.

The law enforcement agency goes before a judge and presents reasons a wiretap is needed. If the judge approves, a legal document or order is delivered to the communications provider.

A specially authorized person at the communications provider logs in to a system specifically set up for CALEA-approved wiretaps. A number of systems are sold by various manufacturers, but all of them tap into the routers and switches that make up telecommunications networks.
All calls on the communications network are routed digitally over switches and routers. The system used for taps connects to a central point in the network, over which all communications travel.

The tapping system captures two primary pieces of information about the call—the actual voice transmission itself (often referred to as call content information [CCC]) and data associated with each call, such as the phone numbers at both ends of the call (often referred to as call associated data [CDC]).

The CCC and the CDC information are sent over special secure routers to the law enforcement agency.

The Federal Communications Commission has ruled that PC-to-PC calls, when a call is made directly from one computer to another over the Internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software such as Skype, is subject to CALEA. But as of this writing, no technical way has been devised to tap in to those calls." (source)

Friday, June 20, 2008

'Get Smart' Reviews, Smart

"GET SMART" is a film mistaken about its own identity. As a reworking of one of the great 1960s TV comedies, you'd think being funny would be its main goal. But you would be wrong. Very, very wrong. Like its protagonist, in-over-his-head secret agent Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart" yearns to be something it's not. Unaccountably eager to walk in the footsteps of James Bond, "Get Smart" neglects the laughs and amps up the action, resulting in a not very funny comedy joined at the hip to a not very exciting spy movie. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. (more)
However, in the back of the DVD bin...
Peter Segal’s top five 'Get Smart' episodes
Would you believe we asked Peter Segal, the director of the spy comedy "Get Smart," starring Steve Carell as Agent 86 Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, to name his top 50 episodes of the classic TV series on which the film is based?
Would you believe we asked him his top 25?
How about his top 10?
All right, we settled for his top five.
Get Smart - The Complete Original TV Series

'Bug'ged Car Phone? With Voice Male?

The Phone Car is a modified by a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. Created by Howard Davis as a way to promote his telephone biz, Datel Communications. Check out the video of this phone car on the road. The horn, of course, rings. (more)
More Art Cars...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

TALAN Telephone and Line Analyzer Wins 2008 Canadian Technical Security Conference Award

It is always heartwarming to see our eavesdropping and wiretap detection instrumentation winning international awards...

"The TALAN Telephone and Line Analyzer (manufactured by REI) has been awarded the 2008 Canadian Technical Security Conference (CTSC) Award for significant industry contribution, research and engineering design.

Telephone technology has advanced over the past several years, and so have the methods and possibilities for surveillance devices on telephone lines, making traditional eavesdropping tap
detection methods outdated and ineffective. Additionally, multiple pieces of test equipment were required to conducted time consuming tests that provided limited results. The TALAN is a breakthrough in telephone and line testing, combining multiple tests into a single piece of equipment as well as introducing NEW technology providing effective tap detection tests for both digital and analog telephone lines.

The Canadian Technical Security Conference (CTSC) is an annual conference composed of Technical Security Specialists and members of the Canadian Technical Security Professional Association (CTSPA). Delegates and speakers of the conference include technical security professionals representing private companies, law enforcement, military and government organizations from Canada and around the world..." (more)

Other award winning instrumentation
Murray Associates brings to their client's defense...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Botnet Vet Beset by FBI Dragnet - followed by... Cold Sweat, Upset & Regret

In the first prosecution of its kind in the nation, a man who is well known to members of the “botnet underground” pleaded guilty today to federal charges related to his use of “botnets” – armies of compromised computers – to steal the identities of victims throughout the country by extracting information from their personal computers and wiretapping their communications.

John Schiefer, 26, of Los Angeles (90011), appeared today before United States District Judge A. Howard Matz and pleaded guilty to accessing protected computers to conduct fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud and bank fraud...

Schiefer’s “spybot” malware allowed him to intercept communications sent between victims’ computers and financial institutions, such as PayPal. Schiefer sifted through those intercepted communications and mined usernames and passwords to accounts. Using the stolen usernames and passwords, Schiefer made purchases and transferred funds without the consent of the victims. Schiefer also gave the stolen usernames and passwords, as well as the wiretapped communications, to others. (more)

Almost everything you wanted to know about WIRETAPPING

"DIY Wiretapping:
The Ultimate Guide
(And How to Fight Back)"

Even if you aren't involved in a criminal case or illegal operation, it's incredibly easy to set up a wiretap or surveillance system on any type of phone. Don't be surprised to learn that virtually anyone could be spying on you for any reason.

How to Wiretap
Did you think wiretapping was just for the FBI and mobsters? It's actually so easy that we can show you how to install and manage different wiretapping systems yourself...
(11 "tips" revealed)

Fighting Back
Defend yourself against wiretappers and spies by following these tips. You'll be able to determine if someone is eavesdropping on your home phone, cell phone or VoIP calls.
(13 "tips" revealed... including this one.)

• Check for any suspicious wires running from your phone: Spybusters LLC, a company that performs eavesdropping-detection audits, explains on its Web site the different types of wires your phone should have and which ones indicate wiretapping.

Extra Credit...
Listen Up: 17 Signs That You Are Being Wiretapped
Is someone listening to your private calls? Know the warning signs.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The #1 Reason to Ditch Your Stripcut Shredder

"Unshredding" shredded documents is nothing new. Our client family has been hearing this warning from me for over 30 years now.

Reconstruction can be accomplished by hand; most notably, when the Iranians took over the American Embassy in Tehran
around 1980 (example).

Once a back-room government parlor trick, computer automated document reconstruction is now available to the general public!

Ditch every stripcut (and partial stripcut) shredder in your company. They do not provide adequate business-level information security. Use crosscut, particle-cut or pulping shredders. Alert your Purchasing Department... "No more crummy stripcut shredders!"


"How to Choose A Shredder" - Dahle
(Hint: Crosscut not Stripcut. Always.)
ABCO Office Solutions
Advantage Business Equipment
Allegheny Paper Shredders
Capital Shredder Corp
Cummins Allison Corporation
Dahle USA
ECCO Business Systems
Fellowes Manufacturing Company
GBC Shredmaster Factory Direct
Industrial Paper Shredders, Inc.
Intimus Paper Shredders
MBM Corporation (Destroyit)
Security Engineered Machinery
Somat Corporation (pulping shredders)
Whitaker Brothers
General search (Yahoo)

Bulk wastepaper destruction companies serving your area…
The National Association for Information Destruction, Inc.
(Search "Certified Members")

Saturday, June 14, 2008

SpyCam Story #450 - We told you 'Bugs Stink'

NY - A Long Island doctor is accused of installing a hidden camera in the bathroom of his medical office.

Nassau County police say 54-year-old Vincent Pacienza was arrested Friday and charged with unlawful surveillance.

The doctor's staff discovered the camera, which had been concealed inside an air purifier.

Police believe the camera was placed in the restroom of the Manhasset medical office within the last two weeks. (more)

The kicker...
The purifier, listed for $699, features a "built-in color camera and carrier current video transmitter is completely undetectable," according to the Web site.

The doctor's office staff discovered the device after receiving a bill from, said Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

The staff looked at the Web site and recognized the air purifier listed there as similar to the one recently installed in the 8-by-8 office restroom, Smith said.

The Low-Tech Spy #187 - Mirror mirror on the stall

UK - A peeper used a mirror to spy on swimmers undressing in the cubicles of a Teesside pool, a court heard.

Paul Stoddart was spared a prison sentence as Teesside Crown Court ruled yesterday his crime was a “singular aberration”. The 46-year-old voyeur was seen holding a small mirror under the partitions of cubicles at Stockton’s Splash centre. He was caught as a mum saw two hands holding a mirror tilted upwards under the wall of her cubicle as she crouched to take off her jeans.

She was at Splash with her husband and their two-year-old daughter on November 29 last year. The woman saw Stoddart emerge from the adjoining cubicle.

Her husband went looking for Stoddart, saw him holding the mirror under other changing rooms and alerted pool staff. (more)

The Low-Tech Spy #186 - Bugs Stink

Friday, June 13, 2008

Electronic Mata Haris (c. 1957)

Watch out for that girl, laddie; you might be talking over her head but into her microphone.

As Willie Shakespeare once said, -
“There’s more to this than meets the eye!” This, in the present case, happens to be the bodice of a Sweet Young Thing, said bodice containing microphone, batteries, antenna and transmitter—constituting a miniature radio station with a range of 200-300 feet.

The West German device is but one of several now being used in industrial espionage—the art of swiping your competitor’s business secrets without his knowing. It works like this: Sweet Young Thing has date with two scientists from Firm A.

Mike concealed in the bosom of her party dress picks up their shop talk and other bodice equipment transmits it to operative of Firm B waiting outside in a car equipped with tape recorder.

Sweet Young Thing gets paid off by Firm B.
We realize that all’s fair in love and war but isn’t this going too far?
(courtesy of those great folks at

"There's nothing more ironic or contradictory than life itself." ~ De Niro

From the "Why are we not surprised?" file...
The Italian government has proposed a bill that would limit the use of phone intercepts and their publication in the media. (more)
Maybe this and this and this is why.

"I'll Getta You Sucka: The Silvio Story"
starring Robert De Niro

Secret Agent / Danger Man Episode # [TBD]

Guyana - The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) yesterday distanced itself from drug accused Shaheed Roger Khan saying assertions being made through his attorney are “baseless” and it has no knowledge of any of its members ever being associated with him.

General Secretary Donald Ramotar made the assertions following queries from reporters yesterday at a press conference at Freedom House Boardroom. Ramotar was asked whether the party was concerned about the statements emanating from the US courts by Khan’s lawyers in the context of a purchase of high-tech surveillance equipment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for which he allegedly secured the permission of the Guyana Government.

In response Ramotar said he saw the statements as baseless. “I am not concerned about those statements. I tend to believe the Ministry of Home Affairs in this case. The statement is baseless and I am not worried about baseless statements,” he asserted.

Lawyers for Khan, who is facing drug charges in the US, have cited an FBI investigation which they claim revealed that the government had given Khan permission to purchase the sensitive electronic surveillance equipment from Spy Shops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In a subpoena to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Khan’s lawyers stated: “FBI agent Justin Krider investigated Khan’s purchase of the computer telephonic surveillance equipment from Spy Shops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and found Khan had permission from the Government of Guyana to purchase and possess this equipment.”

In a background paragraph, the subpoena said Khan was alleged to have used the equipment to improperly wiretap various high-ranking officials and others within Guyana in order to maintain his “alleged drug organization.”

...there has been no public information on what happened to the equipment and many questions posed to officials by this newspaper on how the
equipment came into the country and what happened to it after the court case went unanswered.

It was believed that the surveillance equipment was passed back to Khan after the trial as he later acknowledged that he had taped several conversations of leading security officials and other personalities.

Prior to his arrest in Suriname and subsequently by the US authorities, Khan had maintained that he had assisted the Guyana government in fighting crime and subversive elements. (more)

"Gadzooks! My secret folder... bloody Spy Bar drinks."

UK - One of Britain's top intelligence officers spies left a dossier of secret files detailing the threat from al-Qaeda and the status of Iraqi security forces on a train, the British Government was forced to concede...

Marked "secret" and in a bright orange folder, the papers were left on a commuter train traveling between Surrey and Waterloo station, London. The al-Qaeda document, apparently commissioned jointly by the Foreign Office and Home Office, was classified "UK top secret" and was so sensitive that each page was numbered and marked: "For UK, US, Canadian and Australian eyes only."

...the file, handed to the BBC by a passenger... (more)

FutureWatch - VoIP Bug Aids Bugging

Plans to compress internet (VoIP) phone calls so they use less bandwidth could make them
[more] vulnerable to eavesdropping. Most networks are currently safe, but many service providers are due to implement the flawed compression technology. (more)

"And just how do you think we are going to pay for all these renovations?!?!"

When we last looked, the Spy Bar in Cleveland had closed its doors forever, and the Spy Bar in Chicago had closed its doors for renovations.
What's a spy to do?
Go to Stockholm???

Good news! Spy Bar (Chicago) re-opens this week after a $1mil disguise upgrade. But our spies tell us that the bigger news is the new truth serum, "1996 Dom Perignon Rosé ($$$).. hooked up with Vosges Haut-chocolat ($$$) which is behind the truffles being paired with the Champagne." (more)
"Miss. Moneypenny, an advance from petty cash, please."

Bugged? Check your breath. (Oddball Tip # 044)

Viral Marketing or Hogwash? You decide...
Listerine mouth wash is being touted as the latest weapon in the war to repel that most pesky of insects, the blood-sucking mosquito.

...there is a bumper crop of the varmints and the threat of West Nile is still strong, say local naturalist Terry Sprague and health officials...

People being bugged has led to Listerine, which some swear by and have used on his hikes, Sprague said, although where the idea of using mouth wash to repel mosquitoes came from is not clear.

"You spray it on your person," he said. "I am not sure what the active ingredient is."

However, Listerine does contain some eucalyptus, which is an evergreen tree, and the herb thyme, two proven mosquito repellers, Sprague said. (more)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Corporate Eavesdropping & Espionage - Get Smart

Three 'Get Smart' news reports in one day!
Just coincidence?

"Get Smart" the TV-show movie remake hits next week +
Corporations are getting hit with more eavesdropping

= Corporations are Getting Smart...

Targets of Spying Get Smart
by M.P. McQueen

Tiny electronic-surveillance gadgets that James Bond could only dream of are increasingly turning up in boardrooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Crooks are parking vans outside people's homes to steal bank-account passwords and credit-card numbers, using programs that tap into Wi-Fi connections. Paparazzi hide cameras and microphones in private jets, hoping to record embarrassing celebrity video. Corporate spies plant keystroke-recording software in executives' laptops and listen in on phone conversations as they travel.

Now, people are deploying counter-spy technology to fight back. Some celebrities and corporate executives get regular sweeps of their offices, limos and private jets in search of hidden devices. Others hire security experts to safeguard their phones and home computers...

Kevin D. Murray, an Oldwick, N.J., counter-surveillance expert, said he received several calls from worried executives asking for sweeps of their offices and homes as soon as the Porsche incident surfaced. (more)

We've gotten smart:
Movie's spy gadgets do exist

The shoe phone on TV's "Get Smart" wasn't just a sneaky spy gadget, it was a technological marvel: a wireless, portable telephone that could be used anywhere — though it did require a dime to make a call.

Today, almost everyone has a pocket-sized version that also takes photos, shoots video, sends e-mail and surfs the Internet. About the only thing it doesn't do is protect your feet.

"Get Smart" comes to the big screen next week, along with a spate of new spy gadgets to help Maxwell Smart, Agent 99 and the other spies at CONTROL. The gadgets are just as goofy as they were in the original TV series, but because technology has caught up with the writers' imaginations, there's a big difference: many of the movie's doo-dads actually exist. (more)

Bugging of offices
‘grows sharply’

Wales - Boardrooms and similar high-level working environments are increasingly being bugged as rival businesses and even staff look to gain an advantage through industrial espionage... (more)

DIY Spy Tip #090 - Free Background Check Aggregator (currently in BETA) is a portal to free web-based public records checking sites in the U.S. - Cool! They are also the entry point to a fee-based investigative service for when public record checks are not enough ...or you don't have the time / patience to DIY.

"Are You Being...

Surveilled Served?"

UK - Customers in shopping centres are having their every move tracked by a new type of surveillance (Path Intelligence) that listens in on the whisperings of their mobile phones.

The technology can tell when people enter a shopping centre, what stores they visit, how long they remain there, and what route they take as they walked around.

The device cannot access personal details about a person’s identity or contacts, but privacy campaigners expressed concern about potential intrusion should the data fall into the wrong hands.

The surveillance mechanism works by monitoring the signals produced by mobile handsets and then locating the phone by triangulation – measuring the phone’s distance from three receivers. (more)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SpyCam Story #449 - Deja View

Lawyers Gone Wild
Same trick!
Different country.

(previous report)

Scotland - A shamed solicitor who put a video camera in a ladies' toilet and filmed female staff is facing jail.

Peter Fitzpatrick, 49, from Rutherglen, hid the device in a cardboard box in the toilet at upmarket Stirling law firm Muirhead Buchanan.

The father-of-two, a solicitor for 27 years, was caught when a suspicious secretary noticed a circular hole in the side of the box was pointing straight at the pedestal. (more)

Monday, June 9, 2008

How To Manage Rogue Mobile Devices

A single unsecured smartphone (or laptop) can jeopardize the security of your entire organization.

For those not schooled in the risks, smartphones are the back-door deployment that can provide hackers -- or the competition -- with access to your network.

Jim, your employee, buys a smartphone and loads it up with contracts, sales quotes, pricing schemes, and other information you wouldn't want your competitors or customers to know.

The smartphone falls out of his pocket while he is boarding a plane in a crowded airport. Whoever finds the device will have instant access to all of Jim's emails and your corporate information.

Solution - Do these things...
• Use VPN's
• Block Access to Public Wi-Fi
• Make Strong Passwords Mandatory
• Block Removable Storage
• Educate Employees
• Educate IT
• Encryption is Key
• Better Security Through Software
(here's how)

We can help you identify and locate rogue devices operating in your offices. This is just one of many problems we solve with our Wireless LAN (wi-fi) Security Audit and Compliance Report service.

Expect negative 'feedback' from FBI

Skype, the eBay-owned company, says it is unable to comply with court-authorized wiretap requests.

"...because of Skype's peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques, Skype would not be able to comply with such a request," said Jennifer Caukin, Skype's director of corporate communications. (more)

Federal judge reserves decision in alleged school eavesdropping suit

NY - Susan Burgess, a Brockport attorney, and her former client, Carmen Coleman... accusing a school official and a Buffalo attorney for the school district of illegally eavesdropping on their private conversation in a district conference room nearly two years ago....

Named in their suit are the district; its board of education; Kevin Ratcliffe, director of Pupil Services; and Jay Pletcher, the attorney in question, and his law firm...

Burgess and Coleman met at school district offices with Ratcliffe and Pletcher, to discuss the educational needs of Coleman’s son. At one point, Burgess and Coleman asked to speak privately; Ratcliffe and Pletcher left the room.

But, they claim Pletcher called a cell phone and then left it on the table in the conference room so he could listen in from Ratcliffe’s adjoining office, presumably with Ratcliffe, on their private conversation in violation of their civil rights...

To support their claim, Coleman and Burgess say there was a series of subsequent events that led them to believe their conversation had been overheard. It began with Pletcher re-entering the room and removing a cell phone immediately after Coleman asked Burgess about the device lying on the table.

...They expect a decision in six to 10 weeks. (more)

Car mechanic at center of probe into bugging

Ireland - GARDAI (Irish national police) are to review all contracts given to garages which service its fleet after a mechanic, who was returning from a trip to the UK, was found with bugging equipment.

A number of cars, including unmarked vehicles used by detectives, were checked for bugging devices last week after a mechanic who services Garda vehicles was found with the specialist equipment during a routine search at Dublin Port.

A high-level investigation is now under way amid fears that cars used by senior gardai, including Commissioner Fachtna Murphy, could have been bugged and sensitive information leaked to criminals or terrorist organisations.

It is understood that a man employed by a company which won a contract to service garda cars was stopped with the equipment during a search at Dublin Port. (more)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eavesdropping, worth repeating...

Eavesdropping on the Boss: Is it “Cause” to Fire Me?
by Alan L. Sklover
Question: I was put on suspension for sharing information I learned when playfully eavesdropping on my boss. Then I was called at home and terminated. I was told my actions, and the actions of another employee who I shared the information with, did not meet the required level of integrity of the company. At the same time, one employee who is still there goes to strip clubs. Was my firing a wrongful termination?
S.A.M., Houston, TX

Answer: Sorry, but on this issue I have to agree with your employer. Eavesdropping on your boss, even if it’s playful, is not something most any employer would tolerate. If people think their telephone conversations are being listened to, they may be reluctant to use them. If people think their conversations may be repeated, they may not speak openly. And taking precious time at work to do things like this just don’t help anyone. Additionally, the fact that someone else does things that are not proper (either on their own time or on company time) does not in any way excuse or justify your errors. Your conduct would be considered “cause” for firing at almost any employer. My best advice: learn from the mistake. Work is for working; eavesdropping isn’t working, and will get you fired. It’s that simple.
Best, Al Sklover

SpyCam Story #417 - Illinois' New Law (update)

Original report - "A lawyer in Wheaton (IL) hid his cameras in a roll of toilet paper and a basket of potpourri in the women's restroom."

Update - "A former Wheaton attorney (Jerald Mangan) convicted in 2006 of spying on a female colleague has had his license suspended for another two years after admitting to spying on a neighbor in his apartment complex." (more)

"All right, who said, 'Turkey'?"

When we last left Turkey...
• A possible Turkish Watergate scandal.
• “AK Party is eavesdropping” claims the opposition.
• Turkish opposition claims security forces bugged its headquarters.

Now, the rest of the story...
• CHP’s bugging allegations turn into bitter comedy.
When the Vakit daily published details of a private conversation between Sav and a former governor last week, Sav claimed his party's headquarters had been bugged. The CHP backed the allegations, reasoning that there was no other way the daily could have obtained such detailed information about the conversation. The CHP argued that a group close to the government within the police force was gathering intelligence for the ruling party.

In response to the accusations, Vakit said its reporter had called Sav on his cell phone for a statement on the day of the meeting and that Sav simply forgot to end the call on his cell when he received his guest, leaving the phone connected for nearly an hour. Records of the call from Turk Telekom and Sav’s cell phone company, Turkcell, seemed to verify this story, as they both showed a 44-minute connection between a phone at Vakit and Sav’s cell phone...

The secularist media, which had initially supported Sav, started calling for his resignation after it turned out that the Vakit scandal was caused by what they described as “his inability to use a cell phone properly.” (more)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

SpyCam Story #448 - Premature Ejection

Hong Kong - A suspected Peeping Tom was critically injured after falling 10 floors while allegedly spying on a woman taking a bath in her high-rise Hong Kong flat.

The man was a neighbour of the 28-year-old woman and had apparently scaled the outside of the apartment block to shoot film of her with his mobile phone camera, police said.

The woman screamed for her husband when she spotted the suspect, aged 44, who then slipped and fell, falling 10 storeys to the ground, according to police. (more)