Friday, December 6, 2013

Spy bugs found in Australia and Asia

An Australian surveillance executive whose firm was contracted by several clients to sweep for hidden mobile interceptors and other spying devices in Australia and Asia has found dozens of them.

Les Goldsmith, chief executive of ESD Group, told Fairfax Media his company found about 20 physical bugs when conducting sweeps in Australian business and local government offices, and another 68 in Asia between 2005 and 2011...

"All governments are falling victim to surveillance and some governments are falling victim to it but not saying anything," he said...

Mr Goldsmith’s remarks come as officers from Australia’s domestic spy agency ASIO raided the office of a lawyer who claimed spies bugged the cabinet room of East Timor’s government during negotiations over oil and gas deposits. It also follows news that Ecuador found a bug in its London embassy, where Julian Assange is (sic) staying...

Michael Dever, of Dever Clark + Associates, which conducts bug sweeps for government agencies, said Mr Goldsmith’s numbers were not surprising.

"Australia’s culture is pretty naive about these matters," Mr Dever said. "There’s a prevailing attitude ... among businesses that this is Australia, that this sort of stuff only happens elsewhere. But that’s not the case at all." (can be applied to most businesses in the free world)

Despite this, Mr Dever revealed that his firm had not found any bugs in Australia "in years", but said that this was likely because areas he swept were "generally secure" government or private sector facilities.

"That doesn’t mean that we’re incompetent," Mr Dever said.

"It just means that the types of places [where] we do this work ... are already low-risk anyway because of their security." (more)

A good security recipe has bug detection inspections (TSCM) as a key ingredient. Not only is TSCM a proven deterrent, it is also checks the freshness and effectiveness the other security ingredients. Cook this up right, and like Mr Dever said, your risk will be low.