Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ice Pick is New Car Key for Burglars

(Reports coming in from GA, MA, and IL)
...The unknown sharp object penetrates the door metal, hits the lock mechanism and disengages it. The burglar or burglars slip inside the vehicle without having to break a window or otherwise heavily damage the car, which would call attention to themselves.

Because the damage is minor, the owners may not realize they are victims until they notice items missing from the car or items that were moved. The puncture hole that the intruders leave under the lock, usually on the driver's-side door, is only up to about a half-inch in diameter.

The thieves prefer to hit General Motors cars, Golike said.

"Most were GM vehicles," he said. "Many of the GM cars have a lock mechanism that somebody's familiar with."

He said some of the cars were Dodges.

The thieves target just about anything of value, including cash, wallets, purses and guns left in the cars.

The first such "punch" car burglary reported in the greater Alton area happened to a vehicle owned by Telegraph Photo Editor John Badman. That burglary happened Sept. 23 while his Chevrolet Impala was parked in the parking lot of Fast Eddie's Bon-Air tavern along East Broadway. The tavern is at 1530 E. Broadway.

Once inside the car, the burglar popped the lid of the trunk, making off with $14,000 in camera equipment - after first relocking the car door. (more) (more) (more)

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Chevron Secret Recordings Case Continues

An American whose secret recordings have placed him at the center of a $27 billion lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador is a convicted drug trafficker, records show, throwing another complication into a case already tainted by accusations of bribery and espionage.

The lawsuit pits Ecuadorean peasants against Chevron over oil pollution in the Amazon and has been a major headache for the company for nearly a decade, producing a saga that underscores many of the hazards and ethical challenges of oil companies working in the developing world.

The company appeared to gain the upper hand in August when it revealed
video recordings — captured on watches and pens implanted with bugging devices — that suggested a bribery scheme involving Ecuadorean officials, and possibly even the judge hearing the case.

But the company was put on the defensive again on Thursday, after lawyers for the peasants revealed that one of two men who made the tapes was a convicted felon. Court and other records provided by the plaintiffs show that Wayne Hansen, the American who helped make the recordings, was convicted of conspiring to traffic 275,000 pounds of marijuana from Colombia to the United States in 1986. He also was sued successfully in 2005 by a woman who accused him of unleashing his two pit bulls to attack her and her dog...

“It’s another blockbuster development in a case that never runs short of them,” said Ralph G. Steinhardt, a professor at George Washington University Law School...

Chevron has said it had
no involvement in the videotaping, and company spokesmen have said Mr. Hansen was never their point of contact. “We’ve had no association with this guy,” said Donald Campbell, a Chevron spokesman. (more) (the videos)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eavesdropping on Smartphone Secrets

As cell phones become more like pocket computers, many people are calling for closer scrutiny of their security...

"The phone is a very stripped-down environment," says Benjamin Jun, vice president of technology at Cryptography Research, a security research company based in San Francisco, CA. "Which means that someone who's trying to attack the device generally has an easier time, because it's not as complicated as a desktop system."

Jun believes attacks on mobile devices are particularly serious because these devices are being used to access high-value corporate data. (more)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Australia - The Heat is On

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), says it has had its most intense period of operational activity since 2005. ASIO's annual report says in the last financial year it detected and responded to a new alleged terrorist cell...

It also picked up internet espionage as a rapidly growing threat to Government and business information. (more)

LA DA Bugged

Los Angeles - ROBERT H. PHILIBOSIAN, as one of his first acts as district attorney, had a “bug”—the electronic sort—removed from the DA’s executive office.

Philibosian says that when he walked through the executive office after he was appointed at the end of 1982, he asked Clayton Anderson, chief of the Bureau of Investigation: “Is this office bugged?”

He recites that Anderson responded: “Yes it is,” and pointed to an electrical outlet.

The former district attorney says he told Anderson: “I want it out of here now.” (more)

Quote of the Day - The Off-Site Meeting

"And, if you're into taxes...the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants kicks off its National Tax Conference at the J.W. Marriott in Washington. Hanging around the hotel and eavesdropping between now and Friday, when the conference closes, could save you thousands of dollars." ~ Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic (more)

This is an off-handed, humorous comment.
It is also deadly accurate.

I handle counterespionage strategy for my client's off-site meetings. Hotels and conference centers are the worst. It is not at all unusual to catch the competition (and unidentified others) hanging around, eavesdropping, crashing meetings and banquets, picking up unsecured papers and engaging meeting participants – one indiscretion can blackmail a loyal employee into becoming a million dollar problem.

The technical possibilities for eavesdropping are considerable as well. Bugs are easy to plant. Most meeting presenters use wireless microphones.

Competitors reserve a cosy hotel room above the meeting rooms. They arm themselves with a sensitive radio receiver and a directional antenna. Crashing a meeting is a no-brainer.

You can see how a 2-3 person team from the competition could clean up with very little investment. One might almost call them negligent if they weren't there.

Having an off-site meeting?
Get a counterespionage strategy.
Avoid leaking your corporate blood.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One More Good Reason to Lock USB Ports

The new Devil Drive elevates the office prank to a new level of sophistication and maddening effectiveness. It looks like a regular USB thumb drive, but it's actually a devious device of electronic harassment. Its use should be strictly limited to deserving subjects only.

The Devil Drive has three functions:
(1) it causes annoying random curser movements on the screen,
(2) it types out random phrases and garbage text, and
(3) it toggles the Caps Lock.

It allows you to select any combination of these frustrating functions, or all of them. It also allows you to set the time interval between events (ranges from 5 seconds to 15 minutes; the longer intervals are recommended for the most maddening effects).

Note: the Caps Lock toggle function does not work on Macs. To deploy the Devil Drive, just discreetly insert it into any unused USB port on the victim's computer (no drivers are needed).

The Devil Drive never hits the "Enter" key and it never clicks the mouse button, but still you should not use it on anyone's computer who is doing critical work where any disruption could cause serious consequences; like any prank, exercise prudence and judgment before deploying. (more)

Friday, October 23, 2009

FY 2008 - Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage

The threat to the United States from foreign economic intelligence collection and industrial espionage has continued unabated since the publication of the Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage, 2007. Economic espionage cases went up slightly and nearly every day brought reports—in the press and in the classified world—of new cyber attacks against US Government and business entities.

Additionally, the increasing use of new modes of communication and social networking has provided uncharted opportunities for transferring information and espionage for enterprising foreign intelligence services.

"Collection methods included everything from eliciting information during seemingly innocuous conversations to eavesdropping on private telephone conversations to downloading information from laptops or other digital storage devices."

Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage, FY 2008

(click here for pdf version)

Galleon Case Prompts Firms To Plug Leaks

via The Wall Street Journal...
Companies are moving to plug leaks and contain the damage from sweeping insider-trading allegations disclosed last week.(

Galleon Group received confidential information in 1998 about Intel Corp. chip shipments from a woman who has emerged as a key government witness against the hedge fund and its founder Raj Rajaratnam, according to a document filed by the Justice Department.

The woman, Roomy Khan, was employed at the time by Intel and sent a fax containing "proprietary, non-public and highly confidential" information from the company to Galleon's headquarters in New York City, the two-page charging document indicates. She did so at the request of an unnamed representative of Galleon, the Justice Department alleged. (more)

Need an information protection strategy?
(click here)

Winner: Can Film Festival - Surveillance Category

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Make Magazine Spy Gadget Contest

Coming soon! Contest starts on November 17th, 2009

MAKE is teaming up with the Penguin Group to present The Alex Rider Dream Gadget Contest!

All of you adventure-seekers and gadget lovers out there are invited to join in. If you were Alex Rider, what gadget would you want in the upcoming adventure "Crocodile Tears"?

Design your dream Alex Rider gadget, inspired by an everyday object (i.e. an iPod, toothpaste, a pen).

The winning gadget will be built right here at the MAKE Labs. Send us a schematic of what your gadget is made from and how it works. (Your schematic can be a diagram, a drawing or an explanation by you).

Remember that the winning gadget will be inspired by an everyday object that one could realistically build (as much as we wish we could create a pair of scissors that could fly us to the moon)!

FYI... (via
"In case you're unaware, Alex Rider is a young spy whose exploits are chronicled in a popular series of teen spy/adventure books. Alex uses all sorts of crazy high tech contraptions, made from things in his school backpack, to get out of sticky situations."

Let me know your ideas. Just for fun, I will post them here with your initials and country or state. To play for the prize, visit Make Magazine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wall Street gets Wiretaps

NY - US prosecutors who used wiretaps to make their insider trading case against billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, founder of hedge fund firm Galleon Group, said they would use similar tactics to fight future Wall Street crimes.

The US attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said on Friday the justice department would employ the same kind of electronic surveillance traditionally reserved for organized crime, drug syndicates and terrorism prosecutions.

Bharara, whose office has jurisdiction over the headquarters of some of the world’s biggest financial firms, said investigators relied on wiretaps to build a case against Rajaratnam and former directors at a Bear Stearns hedge fund.

He said it was the first time wiretaps had been used to target insider trading. (more)

"Sometimes, I just don't want them to know it's me calling."

NY - Blond society babe Ali Wise -- the fired publicity director for Dolce & Gabbana -- was slapped with four felonies yesterday for allegedly making a compulsive, vindictive leap from flacking to hacking.

The ferocious fashionista embarked on a strange, high-tech vendetta against the girlfriends of her old boyfriends, according to a criminal complaint filed against her in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Wise allegedly used widely available "SpoofCard" software more than 1,000 times.
With it, she broke into the voice-mail systems of four people -- at least two of whom had dated her high-powered ex-boyfriends -- nearly 700 times, prosecutors said.

The Barbie-esque publicist would then eavesdrop on their messages, even deleting those that did not meet with her favor, prosecutors said. (

Rocket Scientist Stung in Spy Caper

Stewart Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and held a special security clearance at the United States Department of Energy on atomic materials.

He has been charged with “attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information relating to the national defence of the US to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer,” the US Department of Justice said.

But the person Mr Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer was in fact an undercover FBI agent in a sting operation, the department said...

During a meeting in a bugged Washington hotel room, Mr Nozette is alleged to have said he wanted to receive cash amounts “under $10,000” to keep him from reporting it to the authorities. (more)

Business Espionage - Lee & Ge Plea

CA - The word espionage conjures up images of James Bond or Alger Hiss, not usually techies in Silicon Valley. But as the San Jose Mercury News reports, two engineers are about to face economic espionage charges in San Jose for allegedly stealing superfast computer chip plans. It’s only the second such trial of its kind in the nation. “For Silicon Valley, where companies have worried for years about their prized secrets being leaked to China and other countries, such a trial is a window into the complexities of protecting product information in a place with ties to every corner of the global economy,” reports the Mercury News. (more)

Moral: Don't count on the law to protect you. Have a good counterespionage strategy in place.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Record your life" meme gaining altitude

Yet another "record your life" tool...
uCorder by iRes

Spy cameras have been with us for over 100 years; mostly used offensively to spy, sometimes used to inoffensively document life without intrusion-disruption.

Times are changing. Today, everyone has a chance at instant global immortality. YouTube and Flickr are our memory mausoleums; CNN's iReport, our chance to be part of the world. The price of admission to this ego-lottery... microelectronics.

Microelectronic spycam offerings have dramatically picked up pace during the past 12 months.

Take a stroll in the Security Scrapbook memory mausoleum. You will be amazed at what you see ...and what can see you. (
more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more) (more)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Say it with flowers, say it with mink, but...

...never, never say it with ink."
New documents shed light on a widely disseminated comment by Bank of America Corp. director Charles Gifford, who wrote in a January email that a U.S.-required dividend cut meant "unfortunately it's screw the shareholders." (more) (more)

Effective Counterespionage Strategy Rule #1:
Develop a culture which practices being

"Does his brother sell 'anti-bugging' devices?"

South Korean embassies and other diplomatic missions abroad are vulnerable to electronic eavesdropping due to the shortage of preventive devices, according to the foreign ministry.

In a recent report to Rep. Rhee Beum-kwan for the ongoing parliamentary audit of government agencies, the ministry said only 34 of the country's 167 diplomatic offices across the world are equipped with devices for blocking electronic eavesdropping...

An anti-bugging device costs about 8 million won (US$6,600), and only one billion won would be needed to install them in the remaining 133 diplomatic missions, he pointed out. (

If there was an effective "anti-bugging device," it would sell for a whole lot more than $6,600.

There is a common misconception (even in government circles) that bugging is accomplished by only one technology - radio frequency transmission. "Install our handy-dandy 'anti-bugging receiver system' and you will be bug-free, 24/7/365... forever!" Even Fortune 1000 companies have almost fallen for this mental band-aid.

A while back, the South African government found one of these "anti-bugging devices" and thought it was a bug! (more) Interestingly,
that system was from Korea.

Moral: Avoid gadgets. Get a Strategy.

Wireless Network Signals Produce See-Through Walls

Researchers at the University of Utah have found a way to see through walls to detect movement inside a building.

The surveillance technique is called variance-based radio tomographic imaging and works by visualizing variations in radio waves as they travel to nodes in a wireless network. A person moving inside a building will cause the waves to vary in that location, the researchers found, allowing an observer to map their position...

Of course there are privacy and security concerns associated with the technology. A burglar could use it to detect if anyone is home or to scout the location of security guards. (more)

This technology is a cousin to our Digital Surveillance Location Analysis™. We use it to detect and pinpoint the locations of rogue computers, unauthorized Wi-Fi hot spots and digital GSM wireless bugs. (

Paint Your "See-Through" Walls?

Researchers (University of Tokyo) say they have created a special kind of paint which can block out wireless signals. It means security-conscious wireless users could block their neighbours from being able to access their home network - without having to set up encryption.

The paint contains an aluminium-iron oxide which resonates at the same frequency as wi-fi - or other radio waves - meaning the airborne data is absorbed and blocked.

By coating an entire room, signals can't get in and, crucially, can't get out...

Some security experts remain unconvinced by the paint. "The use of electromagnetic shielding techniques are nothing new," said Mark Jackson, security engineer at Cisco UK. (more)

Mark is correct. This is nothing new. Furthermore, the "blocking" claims are bogus. Radio waves may be attenuated, but they are not blocked. Windows and cracks around doors allow radio waves to pass freely. We've reported on this before. (more)

SpyCam Story #560 - Holiday Inn Outted

Wales - A woman has told a jury how her former partner set up a secret camera system to spy on holidaymakers staying at their rental cottage.

Teresa Crick said David Sturgess, 53, hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests undressing, showering and having sex.

At Swansea Crown Court he denies 12 charges of voyeurism and three of taking indecent images of children. The jury heard some of those filmed at Llandysul, Ceredigion, were under 18.

Ms Crick 51, told the court that Mr Sturgess, originally from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, would watch a TV monitor showing their naked guests.
She reported him to the police after they split up. (more)

David Sturgess, 54, was found guilty of 12 charges of voyeurism and three of taking indecent images of children at a trial last month.

Swansea Crown Court heard Sturgess hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests undressing, showering and having sex at Llandysul, Ceredigion.

Sturgess was also disqualified from working with children.

Jailing him for 30 months, Judge Keith Thomas said the offences were a gross intrusion into people's privacy and they were rightly devastated. (more with video)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Business Espionage - Hilton (update)

Hilton Worldwide, the American hotel behemoth, could face criminal charges of corporate spying, on top of a civil case brought by its rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

It emerged that a federal grand jury is investigating the company and several of its former executives over claims that they engaged in the “wholesale looting” of confidential documents in order to help it to launch a rival brand to Starwood’s W Hotels. (more)

"What's your counterespionage strategy?"
Find one here.

Address your sympathy card to...

Maj. Gen. Yang Hui, China's most senior military intelligence official, a veteran of spy operations in Europe and cyberspace, recently made a secret visit to the United States and complained to the Pentagon about the press leak on the Chinese submarine that secretly shadowed the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in 2006. (more)

SpyText - Bringing vicarious to new heights

Remember... Watch CCTV. Report Crime. Win a Prize!
No prize, but just as weird...
Everyday Texts,
where you eavesdrop on people's text messages.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spy Pen... Mighter than the Sword

Ireland - Charles Haughey used Royal Ulster Constabulary surveillance technology in political spying operations at the end of the 1970s, a new book on the undercover anti-terror war claims.

Haughey went on to boast that the use of the bugging equipment, which was meant for anti-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland, "changed the course of Irish political history". According to the book, Border Crossing, by George Clarke, a retired Special Branch officer, the future taoiseach even refused a request to hand back the two pieces of spying equipment.

Clarke says he lent the bugs – one in the shape of a pen, the other disguised as a 13-amp plug adapter, both of which he had bought in a specialist spy shop in London for £90 – to one of his counterparts in the Garda. (more)

Wild West - No SpyCam Law in Colorado

CO - When it was discovered that a man had installed a hidden camera in a Denver Tech Center hotel room to watch the people staying next door, the only legal option for prosecutors was an audio surveillance law.

Because Colorado law has not kept up with technology, video surveillance cases are being prosecuted as eavesdropping, a law intended to outlaw wiretaps and surreptitiously overhead conversations. Prosecutors eventually abandoned the felony eavesdropping charge and instead allowed the suspect to plead to a misdemeanor and avoid jail time. (more)

Restricted Document About Preventing Leaks... Leaks

UK - The Ministry of Defence was left embarrassed after its internal guide to preventing leaks appeared on the internet. The Defence Manual of Security sets out tactics for preventing Chinese and Russian intelligence services from using blackmail or hi-tech gadgets to obtain sensitive information... A MoD spokeswoman said: 'The document is marked Restricted as current MoD policy is to keep our security policies and procedures private but the publication of an old version of this document does not raise significant security concerns.' (more) (manual)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Watch CCTV. Report Crime. Win a Prize!

FutureWatch (Coming Nov. 2009)
Watch this trend expand.
Next stop, prison cameras?

UK - Internet Eyes is an online instant event notification system. Viewers (in the EU for now) are able to monitor live video feed from our Customers and notify them; the instant an event is observed.

Typical event notifications include:

Shop lifting

Anti social behaviour



Would you like the opportunity to help detect these crimes?

How does a reward of £1000 a month sound?

Internet Eyes is now offering you that chance.

Viewers are anonymously monitoring random video feeds streamed from privately owned establishments. At no time can Viewers designate or control the video feeds they receive and the locations of the feeds are not disclosed.

The instant a Viewer monitors an event, an alert can be sent directly to the owner of that live camera feed.
The alert is sent along with a screen grab, identifying the image you have observed. Only the first alert received by the camera owner is accepted. Then... (more)

Job Posting: Senior Security Consultant / TSCM Specialist

SMR Group an international executive search firm whose global practice is focused exclusively on professional and executive level corporate security positions. It’s US based company, Security Management Resources, Inc. is seeking candidates in behalf of their client for the following opportunity:

TITLE: Senior Security Consultant / TSCM Specialist
LOCATION: Either San Francisco Bay or Puget Sound Metro Areas


Excellent communication and writing skills are essential. The candidate should also possess excellent management skills and experience in security operations. Being able to assist in client relations and marketing would be an added value.

This is a full time, salaried position with a well established consulting firm based in Washington DC with numerous Fortune 500 level clients.

Excellent salary and benefits commensurate with background and experience will be offered.

Interested candidates should submit their resumes via the position posting on the SMR website at:

Business Espionage - The McGraw-Hill Case

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in New York, construction information publisher Reed Construction Data claims that McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge posed as fake customers of RCD in order to access confidential information and trade secrets. According to the filing made in the Southern District Court of New York, Dodge used consultants to subscribe to RCD data under false identities and companies. RCD says in its statement, “Dodge then allegedly manipulated the information to create misleading comparisons between Dodge and RCD’s products and services in an effort to confuse the marketplace.”

The actual court filing names Dodge employee Erick Kubicka as the person appointed as “Director of Competitive Intelligence,” whose job was to penetrate RCD’s databases. In fact, the suit says that Kubicka was commonly referred to by colleagues as “The Spy.” The filing also claims that Kubicka later gave a presentation in 2004 and 2005 to his own sales reps that included a walk-through of RCD’s Reed Connect data product and its competitive weaknesses. The information had been gleaned by a consultant hired by Dodge who posed as a customer and gave Dodge unfettered access to the RCD databases. (more)

Spy Tip: "Director of Competitive Intelligence" is not a subtle enough cover for the job.

Spy probe clears D Bank chiefs

via the Financial Times...
Frankfurt prosecutors on Thursday cleared Deutsche Bank’s top management and supervisory board members
of allegations that they were involved in illegal acts when the bank hired detectives to spy on one of their shareholders.

The prosecutors said they had not found evidence of an involvement of top management or supervisory board members in the spying scandal that rocked Germany’s largest bank. (more)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Encryption Software

As anyone responsible for data security already knows, most company data is either not stored securely or it is emailed as plain text. Campaigns to secure internal and external communications by using public key infrastructures (PKIs) have so far failed to provide a comprehensive solution.

Sophos Free Encryption can close these security loopholes. It provides encryption that is both easy to integrate and easy to use. It can protect valuable, confidential data on notebooks and PCs, and ensure that the data is sent securely when emailed. (more) (download)

Just Another Eavesdropper Dropped

FL - A Glen Ellyn man has been charged with eavesdropping and criminal usury, which is lending money at exorbitantly high interest rates. Both charges against Steven Cooper, 47, also known as Moustafa Abed Elsalam Elturky, are considered Class 4 felonies and, if he is convicted, could put him behind bars for up to three years... Deputies did not go into detail regarding how the charges developed. (more)

SpyCam Story #559 - Federal & Offensive

A Missouri man has pleaded guilty to eavesdropping on people at Fort Leavenworth with a concealed camera. Andy D. Doty entered his plea to two misdemeanor charges Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court. Doty reportedly used a camera to view people’s bodies or undergarments in April 2008 at a residence on Fort Leavenworth. (more)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Business Espionage - Starwood Hilton Case

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Hilton Worldwide and several of its former executives should face criminal charges for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of pages of confidential documents from rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts, according to people familiar with the situation.

The grand jury is part of a six-month-old Justice Department probe into allegations that Hilton, which is owned by private-equity firm Blackstone Group, used trade secrets taken by former Starwood executives, who defected to Hilton last year, to develop its own luxury brand to compete with Starwood's successful W chain. (more)

Major Eavesdropping and Industrial Espionage by Private Detectives

Columbia - Felipe Muñoz, director of Colombia's intelligence agency DAS denounced Tuesday the existence of a cartel of private detectives who wiretap telephones and carry out industrial espionage.

The intelligence chief had been called to the House of Representative to talk about the illegal wiretapping of government critics conducted by his own agency that because of this scandal will be dismantled.

Muñoz said that also some private detectives wiretap telephones are carrying out industrial espionage and that it was not just the state agency who did so.

"We are even talking about industrial espionage. The evidence we have shows that none of those activities were conducted with DAS devices," Muñoz said to the representatives.

Muñoz added that telephone eavesdropping is so easy that a cell phone can be wiretapped with a pin anyone can buy at Bogota's downtown. That's why he asked that the mobile phone companies be investigated too.

According to Muñoz the wiretapping cartels operate from Bogota, Medellin, and Cali. (more)

Erin Andrews' Alleged Peephole Video Stalker Arrested

A man accused of secretly taping and trying to sell nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was arrested late Friday night and appeared in federal court today. After months of FBI investigation, Michael David Barrett, 47, faces federal criminal charges of interstate stalking for allegedly taking nude videos of Andrews, posting them on the Internet and trying to sell them to celebrity Web sites such as TMZ. (more)

As the suburban man accused of secretly recording ESPN reporter Erin Andrews naked in her hotel room awaits trial, security experts warn that surreptitious invasions can happen in what might seem the most private of places.

Their advice: Don't assume someone isn't watching. "A pervert will take advantage of the fact that people in a hotel will act as if they are at home," said Charles Slepian, who consults with hotels on security issues and is founder of the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center in New York. (more)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Alert: Low-Cost GSM Bugs Flood Ebay

GSM bugs are simply tiny cell phones without keypads. Insert a SIM card, hide it, call its phone number and eavesdrop from anywhere in the world.

The lowest cost we've seen is 99 cents, plus $21.99 shipping.

This is a major development in illegal electronic surveillance; amazing as it is scary. Anyone can be a high-tech spy for less than $25.00.

In addition to being packaged as tiny self-contained bugs, they are also being sold on Ebay (and many other Internet locations) hidden in every-day office items like power strips.

Search Ebay to see them... (1) (2)

What Murray Associates is doing about this for their clients...

Digital Surveillance Location Analysis™ (DSLA)

With this new capability we pinpoint and solve several of the most serious information security challenges...
cellular bugs
GPS/GSM tracking devices
rogue equipment and access point loopholes
DSLA is a Murray Associates exclusive -- Sample plot map... (enlarge)

Our new graphic triangulation technique may be...
• employed during our regular Eavesdropping Detection Audits,
• monitored by your security/IT staff on a 24/7 basis,
• or, monitored by Murray Associates for you.
The system is Internet compatible; easily monitored from anywhere.

Security Directors at businesses and government agancies (only) are invited contact us for further details.

One Password Will Hurt You

Nearly half of all Brits (and probably everyone else) use the same password to log in to their online banking account as their social networking account, says CPP.

• Two thirds of web users said it's too difficult to remember numerous logins.
• 17 percent said they were concerned they would get locked out of their account if they forgot their password.

• 40 percent of web users admitted that at least one other person knows their passwords, of these two percent confessed an ex partner has access to their social networking and online banking accounts.
• A third of Brits said they believed that these people may have logged in using their details.

• One in ten Brits has had one of their online accounts hacked, with 57 percent of the crimes happening in 2008.

• Of those that saw their online accounts hacked, 18 percent had goods illegally bought in their name, 12 percent had money stolen while five percent also said they'd had their identity stolen.

Sarah Blaney, identity theft expert at CPP, said: "No sensible person would use the same key for their house, car and garage." (

It's time for half of us to develop a better password strategy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Did you know...

..after the Russians were caught tapping the State Department, Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright protested by wearing a pin with a giant bug on it? (more)

From her new book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

Spy vs. Spy - Mission Impossible

A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought 15 years ago by a former DEA agent who accused a CIA operative of illegally bugging his home...

The lawsuit, brought by Richard A. Horn, accused the CIA of illegally bugging his residence in Rangoon, Burma, when he was stationed there. He alleged that portions of a private phone call were used as an excuse to oust him from that job. Horn, 63, filed suit in 1994. His case has meandered through the court system since. (

*CONTEST* (CLOSED) Help me track down an international spy.

Help me track down an international spy.
I have been chasing this person for over 20 years now.
Over this time, my spy has been seen in these cities, in this order;
but for no longer than a month at a time...

Seoul, South Korea
Barcelona, Spain
Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
Sydney, Australia
Beijing, China
Based on this, what city should I plan on traveling to for my next chance to see this spy again?

First correct answer via e-mail wins a nice prize. ~Kevin

We have a winner!
HZC from Texas, who says... "You should look for him in London, England. And Perhaps if you cant find it there afterwards at Rio de Jainero, Brazil"
Why? Because our spy follows the Olympics!

He will be receiving the really cool "Book of Secrets" Check the "Look inside" at to see what it is all about. ~Kevin

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Security Colleague Question #523 - Fireproof Bag

Hi Kevin,
Are you aware of any type of document bag that is fire proof?

Try one of these...
It withstands nearly 2000 degrees of fiery heat for up to 15 minutes! They come in two sizes, lots of colors and with locks...
Locking Bag - Fire-Resist Briefcase
~ Kevin