Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ask the Consultant - Spycam Question Received this Week

"Have you ever been called upon by a client to check for unauthorized or hidden cameras?
And to that end, is there some technology available to security professionals (not what the Secret Service uses) that can identify wireless cameras?"

Yes. The video voyeurism craze had prompted requests from corporate clients, country clubs, private schools and religious institutions (usually in response to an incident), and occasionally pro-actively, for due diligence purposes.

DIY detecting cameras in situ can be accomplished in several ways...

Spycam finds courtesy Murray Associates.
  1. Physical inspection - If you know where a spycam is likely to be looking (bathroom, bedroom, office, etc.), stand there and do a 360ยบ turn. The camera will be in your line-of-sight (take into account mirrors).
  2. Look for the lens - This may be accomplished with this device, or with this app. Neither solution is 100% effective, however.
  3. If the device is not recording internally, but broadcasting a FM radio-frequency signal, there are these detectors 1 2 . Neither solution is 100% effective, however.
  4. If the camera is transmitting to the Internet via Wi-Fi (popular with the baby monitors), detection options 1 & 2 are the best bet for the amateur sleuth. A professional TSCM team will be able to conduct a Wi-Fi analysis to absolutely detect the transmitter.
  5. Thermal imaging is also very effective for finding "live" cameras (as opposed to the battery powered ones that just snap photos upon sensing movement). This has become affordable this year with the introduction of this iPhone add-on.
  6. Call us. In addition to Wi-Fi analysis, we also use Non-Linear Junction Detection (NLJD), more sensitive thermal imaging, and spectrum analysis detection techniques.
You may also want to read this.

by Kevin D. Murray CPP, CISM, CFE