Sunday, January 29, 2017

Congressional Republicans' Private Meeting Bugged & Leaked

Congressional Republicans gathered behind closed doors in a Philadelphia hotel Thursday to discuss their plans to tackle national security, health care and more. Now you, too, can listen in.  

The recordings below were first provided to The Washington Post and other news outlets through an anonymous email sent Friday evening.

The author of that message asked that the recipients not publish the audio files out of concern that the author could lose his or her job.

On Saturday afternoon, the person wrote again and granted permission to publish the files, explaining that he or she had more closely reviewed the recordings and had concluded that they could not be used to identify him or her.

Washington Post reporters who reviewed the files on Thursday and Friday found revealing details within. more

Saturday, January 28, 2017

More Bad Security News for Android

A team from CSIRO's Data 61, University of NSW (Australia) and UC Berkley in the US found a whole bunch of Android VPN apps contain viruses, spyware and other adware.

Researchers analyzed the apps available for Android to look for nasties like trojans, spyware and adware — giving each an "anti-virus rank (AV)" based on what they found. The lower the rank, the better.

They found of the 283 apps they analyzed, 38 per cent contained malware or malvertising (malicious advertising containing viruses). more
Check Point’s mobile security researchers have discovered a new ransomware in Google Play, dubbed Charger. 

Charger was found embedded in an app called EnergyRescue. The infected app steals contacts and SMS messages from the user’s device and asks for admin permissions. If granted, the ransomware locks the device and displays a message demanding payment. more

A tip of the hat to our Blue Blaze Irregulars who submitted these news items. ~Kevin

Friday, January 27, 2017

Android Phone's Pattern Lock - Easy to Guess

Android's pattern lock, which lets you unlock your phone by swiping a specific pattern across the screen, may seem more secure than a password, but that's not always the case...

A study in 2015 suggested that 44 percent of lock patterns start in the upper left (and 77 percent start in one of the corners), and most moved left to right and up to down, just like we'd read a book. The end result? Our pattern lock patterns are pretty predictable.

A new attack makes use of that predictability: there's now an algorithm that can guess 95% of pattern locks within five attempts. This bit of code analyzes video of people using pattern lock to unlock their phones, taken from about 8 feet away with a smartphone camera (or over 29 feet away using a high-quality SLR or DSLR camera). Even without being able to see the screen, the algorithm can watch your hand movements and predict your pattern. more

Riddle: The Spies With Stamps on Their Heads

Three super spies are caught sending sensitive information to an enemy state. These three double agents are apprehended and taken out to a remote spot in the woods. They are told that one of them will be part of a prisoner exchange, and the other two will be executed.

To decide who lives, the guards decide to play a game. They show the captives eight stamps: four red, and four green. They then blindfold the three men and stick two stamps to each of their foreheads. One of the guards puts the remaining two stamps in his pocket.

The guards then take the blindfolds off the captives, who can each see the stamps on the other two men's heads, but not the two stamps on their own head, and not the two stamps in the guard's pocket. These spies are highly intelligent—they're perfect logicians who know they can count on each other to correctly and quickly interpret the information they have.

The guard captain tells them that the first man to figure out the color of the stamps on his own head will be used for the prisoner exchange, and the other two will be executed. If anyone guesses wrong, they will be shot dead on the spot.

The captain then asks the spies in order if they know what color stamps they have on their head. The answers are as follows:
  • A: "No."
  • B: "No."
  • C: "No."
  • A: "No."
  • B: "Yes."
Spy B answers correctly. What color are the stamps on his head, and how does he know?

Don't forget about the stamps in the guard's pocket. solution

Technical Surveillance Countermeasures To Prevent Corporate Espionage

via Veteran Investigation Services
You're at an important company board meeting discussing a top secret product development project. If this unique product idea gets leaked to your competitors, the consequences could be dire. The key stakeholders are in the conference room or participating via conference call. The meeting goes well and later you find out your competitor has beat you to market with the same product idea. How could this have happened?

Your business or organization could be the victim of corporate espionage. Someone could be collecting competitive intelligence through unethical means, such as listening devices, video surveillance, or even something as basic as rummaging through your trash. Whether the threat comes from bugging devices at a one-time event, or ongoing surveillance at your corporate site, make sure you are aware of surveillance techniques, find the threats, determine who is behind the intelligence gathering and put systems in place to prevent future breaches.

Your competitors and corporate enemies want to know what is said at meetings with shareholders, new business partners or clients or new product development teams. They may be seeking information about your financial outlook, or access to your intellectual property. Some companies will stop at nothing to gain that information and for many reasons, it's easier than ever for them to get it.

Today, surveillance is easier than ever. Advanced wireless devices such as covert listening devices, miniature cameras, concealed, wearable recording devices or hidden micro-cameras are just a click away online and can be very inexpensive. Employees or someone on the cleaning crew could be paid to place a device in a conference room or collect paper trash afterwards, or look for computer passwords left on desks or taped under keyboards. Safeguarding your company secrets requires a preventative approach.

The most common surveillance targets are CEO offices, their private conference rooms, and assistant's work area, since these spaces are the most likely locations for strategic meetings where valuable company information is discussed. These areas should be swept for bugging devices before critical meetings and at regular intervals, based on the level of risk.

If you suspect that someone is obtaining company secrets or you've already experienced a damaging leak of information, we recommend screening for potential threats to prevent further leaks. A TSCM (technical surveillance countermeasure) examination can be performed to look for surveillance equipment or detect other risks. These can be done before an important meeting, at an off-site event, or at your site at regular intervals.

A TSCM examination may include such counter surveillance tactics as:
  • Full Radio Frequency (RF) Spectrum Analysis
  • Infrared Spectrum Analysis (IR)
  • Detecting transmitting devices in the electrical system/wiring
  • Computer forensics (for example, searching for emails that mention a sensitive topic after a meeting has taken place to look for leaks).
  • Disrupting laser frequencies with static "white noise" and or window coatings to prevent laser listening systems from gathering micro-vibrations from the surface of a window to listen in on conversations from outside of a room.
  • Conducting a physical search looking for:
    • Idle surveillance equipment that may be turned off or out of batteries.
    • Cameras or microphones in the ceiling.
    • Reflections from camera lenses.
    • Radio transmitters that could broadcast to an external radio.
    • Bugged telephones. Polycom phone systems are easy to turn into listening devices.
    • Easily found passwords left on desks or under keyboards.
    • Computers left on and logged in.
    • Document disposal and inadequate document shredders.
Important business meetings held off-site at hotel convention centers can be easy opportunities for surveillance. Sweeps of the meeting rooms, guest rooms, or bathrooms can be done, and then security staff should maintain custody of the room to ensure the room stays free of bugs until after the meeting. Executive cars can be targeted and especially at risk if using valet parking, as well as executive phones which are susceptible to Trojan horse software that can allow someone to listen in on all the conversations or steal data from email or text messaging.

What happens if listening devices are found during a sweep? If surveillance equipment is found during the TSCM examination, it should not be removed immediately because it can be used as a trap to find out who put it there. The TSCM examination is just the stepping off point for a full analysis and investigation. Suspects need to be interviewed. A full security assessment may be necessary if many problems are found. Systems should be established to prevent this kind of activity. Embedded and dedicated security personnel may be needed to keep security at the forefront of executives' minds, staff who can be there to watch, learn, listen and report on surveillance threats. Everyone in the organization can contribute to prevent leaks. Policies and procedures should be developed and communicated to employees regarding the handling of passwords, access, and confidentiality agreements.

Companies are hungry for that competitive edge that will help crush their competition. They may hire corporate surveillance companies to gather company secrets from their competitors, often through unethical means. Low level employees with low moral or low paid personnel from external maintenance services can be paid off to gather intelligence or plant bugs. Most companies are naive and feel that industrial espionage and surveillance does not happen in real life, it only happens in the movies and "cannot happen here." They feel they can trust all of their employees like family. But all it takes is a hungry competitor and a disgruntled employee passed over for a promotion to initiate the leaking of your company secrets that could be devastating to your business. Then, with the preponderance of equipment easily available, your company's most important information and conversations could get into competitors hands in an instant.

What proprietary business information could cause damage to your company if your competitor was able to listen in on your meetings? Have you done all that you can to protect that information?  more

Monday, January 23, 2017

Special TSCM Offer for Executive Protection Professionals and their Clients

Executive Protection Professionals are talented and skilled. They handle:
  • Physical security
  • Intelligence analysis
  • Family office security
  • Transportation security
  • Communications security  
  • Advance travel preparation
  • Estate employee background checks
  • Vetting external vendors and contractors 
 and more.

They are not to be confused with bouncers or scary-looking bodyguard types.

Protection of inside information, and communications privacy, is obviously an important part of the overall EP security strategy.

Founded in 1978, Murray Associates provides these elements of security by being the adjunct technical security consultant.

If you are an Executive Protection Professional, investigate this special get-acquainted offer. Your principal will thank you.

Why the Spy Trade is Such a Booming Industry

The alleged Russian plot that targeted the U.S. presidential election has raised concerns we're headed for Cold War levels of spying, but there's actually plenty of evidence the world soared past that point years ago...

There are now an estimated 120 countries involved in espionage, each trying to infiltrate military, political and economic targets all over the world...

And those are just the official spy operations. Non-state and corporate spies have become much more active, not to mention rogue cyber warriors who sell their wares as independents and major organized crime and terror groups.

More threats, bigger budgets... more

GCHQ Spy Master Quits UK’s Eavesdropping Nerve Centre

UK - GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan only took on the post in April 2014, but on Monday—in a surprise move—

he quit the job, citing "personal reasons."

He won't be handing in his (encryption) keys until a successor is found, GCHQ said.

In a letter to the UK's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, Hannigan said that he was "proud" of the work he has overseen at the eavesdropping concrete doughnut.

He flagged up the National Cyber Security Centre as one of GCHQ's "achievements" under his tenure.

"While this work must remain secret, you will know how many lives have been saved in this country and overseas by the work of GCHQ," he added in his missive to Johnson. more

Friday, January 20, 2017

"Make Your Phone as Private as a Phone Booth"

The Hush-A-Phone
A voice silencer designed for confidential conversation, clear transmission and office quite. Not a permanent attachment. Slips right on and off the mouthpiece of any phone.

Office quite during phone talks is also assured. The Hush-A-Phone does not allow your voice to escape into the room. It excludes noises from the transmitter, giving a quiet wire and clearer transmission.

Prominent business firms are using it and recommend it as an efficiency promoter.

Tear this (ad) out and mail with your letterhead for free booklet "How to make your phone as private as a booth."

Agents and Salesmen—Write for particulars of our attractive proposition to General Agents and Salesmen.

19 Madison Ave.,
New York City

CIA Divulges Procedures for Information on Citizens

via The Wall Street Journal...
In a rare act of transparency, the Central Intelligence Agency for the first time has published a fully declassified version of its procedures for handling information on “U.S. persons,” a category that includes American citizens in the country or overseas.

The new guidelines, which were published in full on the agency’s website on Wednesday, are meant to address the fact that large amounts of communications and other data are collected when spying on foreigners. The previous guidelines date to 1982 and had been updated through a patchwork of policies, but hadn’t been overhauled for the digital age, CIA officials said.

In the past, intelligence officers could promptly review reports that might contain references to U.S. persons or the contents of their communications, and then decide how to handle that information in line with privacy rules. But today, it’s not always feasible to do that in short order because the CIA is collecting information in far larger volumes. A digital storage device, for instance, can hold thousands of pages of material, which a CIA officer has to review.

The new guidelines require the CIA to purge any especially sensitive information it has stored after five years if it hasn’t been evaluated to see if it contains information about U.S. persons. Such sensitive information includes the contents of any communications, officials said. Information that’s deemed less sensitive, like the business records of a foreign company that aren’t expected to contain information about U.S. persons, must be purged after 25 years if it hasn’t been evaluated. more

Some Days No One Wants to be a Spy

About this project
Let me ask you…

What if you could actually be the main character in your favorite action or spy movie?

Maybe you always wanted to be James Bond, Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne and or any other “spy”?

What if there was a way you could actually become your favorite action star in a real life-role playing experience?

I’m not talking about going with all the other “adventure companies” who charge you to…

Sit around in some garage, property or warehouse , drive around a track, “train” to be a spy, climb walls and shoot some targets. Or…

Some boring adventure where you sit around and pretend you’re in a mission, with some instructors by your side the whole time. You See…

I am talking about a totally unique experience…

Become The Action Star of Your Own Real Life-Fast Paced Spy Adventure…

Eliminating the “bad guys”…Saving the “girl”, and or Rescuing the “world” by completing a mission only you can do. This Is You…

Being Involved In Heart-Pumping Thrills… more

This has to be a joke, or a scam. Can you imagine the liability for letting customers run across airplane wings? ~Kevin

Corporate Espionage: Chinese v. Chinese

Police have arrested Huawei’s six top executives for allegedly leaking vital information to its rival company, LeEco.

Huawei is one of the major phone makers in China...

Back in September 2013, HTC’s top executives had been arrested for stealing next generation software interface and were accused of selling them to the Chengdu city government. Those executives were jailed, and it was clearly one of the worst years for HTC.

Corporate espionage looks exciting in movies, but is certainly not pleasing when it is between leading companies. more

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cautionary Tale - Why You Need an Industrial Espionage Protection Strategy

by Rhiannon Williams
The world of good business has always been driven by rivalry... 

Razer's hefty three-screened gaming laptop is still at large is still at large. Chief executive Min-Liang Tan called the theft “industrial espionage”, and proffered a $25,000 reward for information to secure the arrest and conviction of the culprit(s)...

As for the Razer laptops, they’re still at large. Knock-off versions have already surfaced online, and several auctions claiming to list the stolen items have started in China and Singapore, which, if real, should lead authorities straight to the thieves. Maybe Razer should spend the reward money on new security. more

Quick, Call Guinness - “Most Wiretapped Individual” on Earth

Philippines - Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday earned a new title as the “most wiretapped individual” on earth. 

Now zipped lipped.
This title was given to her in jest by Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson before she interpellated him on the floor on the proposed Expanded Anti-Wiretapping Act.

Lacson made the remark when De Lima asked permission if he would yield to some of her questions about the measure.

Responding to De Lima’s query, Lacson said: “Gladly and willingly to probably the most wiretapped individual on planet earth.”

“Thank you for acknowledging that,” De Lima answered. more

Ex-Boyfried Charged - Common Smartphone Eavesdropping

NY - A Rome man has been charged with felony eavesdropping,

according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies charged Anthony Swancot, 33, after an investigation revealed he installed an app on his ex-girlfriend's cell phone that tracked her location and forwarded copies to his cell phone of each text message she sent from her phone, authorities said.

The app was allegedly installed on Nov. 3, without the victim's knowledge, officials said. more

Simple Tips for Thwarting Common Smartphone Eavesdropping

At Secure Network in Armory Square they actually don't get a lot of people calling about their phone being hacked-because they don't always know its happening.

The president of Secure Network says these "eavesdropping" apps are common. but they are not marketed that way. ...he says you should be the only one using your phone.

"I wouldn't relinquish your phone to somebody who started putting apps on your phone or downloading things on your phone," said Steve Stasiukonis, "be conscious of what's on your phone if things are obviously if they appear out of place you know the suspect in question it." You can also look to see if your data plan is getting more expensive. more

• Make sure your phone requires (good quality) password or fingerprint access. 
• If you suspect a problem, do a full factory reset, and don't reload your backup. ~Kevin

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Industrial Espionage and Technical Surveillance Counter Measurers

Industrial Espionage and Technical Surveillance Counter Measurers (book)
Authors: Androulidakis, Iosif, Kioupakis, Fragkiskos – Emmanouil

Discusses how industrial espionage and technical surveillance affect companies, organizations and individuals.

This book examines technical aspects of industrial espionage and its impact in modern companies, organizations, and individuals while emphasizing the importance of intellectual property in the information era. The authors discuss the problem itself and then provide statistics and real world cases.

The main contribution provides a detailed discussion of the actual equipment, tools and techniques concerning technical surveillance in the framework of espionage. Moreover, they present the best practices and methods of detection (technical surveillance counter measures) as well as means of intellectual property protection.

Number of Illustrations and Tables
65 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour

  • Communications Engineering, Networks
  • Systems and Data Security
  • Security Science and Technology
  • Forensic Science
Springer | Signals & Communication | March 12, 2016 | ISBN-10: 331928665X | 126 pages | pdf | 5.58 mb

TV Gardening Expert Digs Dirt Using Spycam

UK - A TV gardening presenter faces jail after he admitted using a camera hidden in an air freshener to film women tenants showering. 

Stephen Brookes faces jail after capturing footage of women on his iPhone. Stephen Brookes, 55, set up the camera to capture footage that could be downloaded to an app on his iPhone.

The expert, who has appeared on BBC radio as a guest, spied on seven women between November 2015 and September last year at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon...

Police discovered 300 files, including videos taken near a shower and toilet, after seizing a memory card, iPhone and iPad belonging to Brookes.

Brookes was known as “Mr Rotavator” in the 1990s and has broadcast live from London’s Chelsea Flower Show.  more

UPDATE (2/8/17) - Stephen Brookes, a gardening expert, has also been ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years... (and) has been jailed for 12 months for using a hidden camera to spy on young women in a bathroom. more

State Insurer Caught up in Eavesdropping Scandal

Chinese insurance regulator said that a state insurer used an iPhone and a voice recorder to eavesdrop on inspectors.

China Insurance Regulatory Commission Shandong bureau said Saturday that the eavesdropping devices were found at the Weifang office of Yingda Taihe Property Insurance.

The regulator had been inspecting the Shandong branch.

On Jan. 6, inspectors found the iPhone and voice recorder taped under their chairs. Neither Yingda nor the regulator elaborated on how the tapping devices were found.

"Their purpose was to listen in on the discussions, so that they could obstruct and thwart inspections," sources with the insurance regulator said. more

This is why accounting firms who conduct on-site audits often have their dedicated offices swept for bugs. Smart. ~Kevin

Police Bang Wang for Spycam - Again

CT - A Hartford man was arrested for allegedly videotaping over a dozen women in the unisex bathroom at UConn’s Law School law library has been arrested on similar charges in Vernon.

Yiyan Wang, 30, was arrested on voyeurism charges for offenses that happened on June 15 and 26 in 2016. He was arrested on Wednesday. He was released on $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on January 24.

On October 12 Wang was charged with 15 counts of voyeurism, one count of disorderly conduct – which encompasses “peeping tom” incidents in the state of Connecticut – and one count of attempting to commit voyeurism. more

Friday, January 13, 2017

If You Need an In-House TSCM Manager Copy This Job Posting

 If in-house is not practical for you, call me. This is what we do. ~Kevin


Abbott Laboratories is seeking an experienced Senior Technical Security Counter Measures (TSCM) professional to serve as a program manager in charge of providing support towards the implementation and management of protecting the companies Intellectual Property and maintaining product integrity.

TSCM duties include but are not limited to the following tasks:
  • Conducting TSCM surveys and inspections to monitor for evasive radio frequency signals, and perform a wide variety of physical and technical security related functions at Abbott facilities as well as inspecting for technical penetrations, hazards, and physical security weaknesses that could result in the unauthorized access to sensitive material and proprietary Intellectual Property belonging to Abbot Laboratories. TSCM sweeps are to be conducted for the 200 Abbott facilities located domestically and abroad.
  • Pre-Construction Advisory Services: Providing assistance and guidance to Abbott leadership prior to new construction or modification of an existing space to safeguard areas from vulnerabilities associated with technical hazards and/or penetrations that can occur during facility construction or modification. Coordinate projects associated with security enhancements or downgrades as well as new facility construction requirements.
  • Conference Support: Onsite monitoring of Abbott sponsored conferences to safeguard against surreptitious monitoring when the area used for discussion of sensitive Intellectual Property is not properly constructed, security measures are not maintained, or when deemed necessary to safeguard information or personnel. Analyze all voice and data communications schemes, systems, circuits, and equipment for susceptibility to interception and compromise.
  • Technical Security advice and assistance: Brief Security Division managers on programmatic security issues that could have institutional impact as well as conduct TSCM threat and awareness briefings to Abbott management and employees as necessary. Providing comprehensive, risk‐based technical security advice, guidance, and general security support to offices and activities the TSCM Office supports; preparing written correspondence and after-action reports to include TSCM inspection findings and recommendations reports, analytical reports, technical security awareness briefings, technical briefings, and vulnerability reports; conducting analysis and recommending solutions to a variety of complex technical surveillance, and counter-surveillance detection or other technical vulnerabilities. Conduct initial laboratory analyses and/or evaluation of any suspect surveillance device discovered, and coordinate with the appropriate Law Enforcement Agencies as appropriate.
  • Follow Up Inspections: Coordinating with Security Managers and facilities management in supported areas to correct deficiencies (i.e., technical hazards, technical vulnerabilities and Standard Operating Procedures that affect technical security) and guide implementation of recommended solutions and technical countermeasures.
Perform other related duties and functions as assigned.  more

Security Director Alert - Peeping Tom Drone - A Cautionary Tale

NH - Two women who live in the same building say they spotted a drone flying over their skylights last weekend and fear the device’s operator could be spying on them.

The women said they immediately told their landlord they feared someone was using drones to spy on them. The landlord was concerned a “Peeping Tom” may be in the area...

Police say if the drones were spying on the women, the operator could face charges because it would be an invasion of privacy. more

Security Directors: News reports about Peeping Tom drones are plentiful. That's because they see people, and people see them. 

What is not so publicized are drones peering through office windows to collect intelligence... like posted passwords and conference call numbers. 

An after-hours clear desk, clear whiteboard policy is more important than ever now. If corporate culture won't support that, how about a close the blinds at the end of the day policy. ~Kevin

Wake for the Spycam Monkey

How do you photograph skittish wildlife up close and personal? Design a camera robot that looks just like them. That’s the idea behind Spy in the Wild, a new documentary series on BBC.

While the producers anticipated using the disguised cameras to get unique shots, they didn’t anticipate what would happen when a group of Langur monkeys thought the animatronic camera had “died.”

The new series, which aired Thursday in the U.K. on BBC and is set to premiere in the U.S. on PBS on February 1, aims to capture what wildlife videographers often have a hard time finding: emotions.

A preview for the series shows the monkeys interacting with the camera, but where it really starts to get interesting is when one monkey tries to play with the fake Langur and ends up bringing it into a tree — and letting go.

With animatronics only in the face, the Langurs appear to think the camera monkey has died. The unexpected turn of events allows the crew to film how the animals react when one of their own die. The monkeys gather around the motionless camera and older Langurs pull younger monkeys into a hug. more

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bizarre Noise-Cancelling Mask Stops Eavesdropping

A bizarre electronic muzzle claims to be able to keep phone conversations private by making them inaudible to anyone in the vicinity.

Not only does this enable the wearer to speak in private, it also means that those around them won't have to listen to any irritatingly loud conversations.

The Hushme is worn around the mouth and hooks up to an app on the user's smartphone over Bluetooth .

When not in use, it can be snapped apart and worn loosely around the neck like a pair of headphones.

Showcased at the CES tech show in Las Vegas last week, the unusual device features built-in microphones for active voice suppression. What's more, 'voice masking mode' enables the user to choose from a selection of audio affects including Darth Vadar, R2-D2 or a Minion. more

Is your TSCM team searching for contemporary eavesdropping devices?

Excerpted from an article by Alan Earl, BJ
What if a TSCM sweep conducted the night prior to the client’s important meeting detected no suspicious transmissions and the real time monitoring also indicated no suspect communications? Does that mean no eavesdropping took place?

Not necessarily….Audio and or video data could have been recorded and scheduled to be transmitted at a later date. This eavesdropping technique is often termed as Store and Forward Bugging.

Children and computer enthusiasts around the world have in recent years embraced the Raspberry Pi as a platform to learn coding and build IoT devices. For less than $100...

In a scenario where the Raspberry Pi with camera and or microphone was hidden within a board room and the mobile phone as a tethered WiFi AP in a nearby room or even outside the building, both powered with a power pack or mains AC, an extremely powerful and possibly challenging to locate (from an RF perspective) store and forward bug could easily eavesdrop on sensitive information.

...contemporary bugging devices and techniques require contemporary TSCM methodologies to counter that threat, utilizing modern technology to detect and locate them; eavesdropping techniques have evolved as technology has. more

PI Alert - Some Video Transmitters Are Operating on Illegal Frequencies

In what it calls an "extremely urgent complaint" to the FCC, ARRL has targeted the interference potential of a series of audio/video transmitters used on unmanned aircraft and marketed as Amateur Radio equipment...

ARRL cited the Lawmate transmitter as an example of problematic devices.
Some of the transmitters operate on frequencies between 1,010 and 1,280 MHz. "These video transmitters are being marketed ostensibly as Amateur Radio equipment," the League said, "but of the listed frequencies on which the devices operate, only one, 1,280 MHz, would be within the Amateur Radio allocation at 1,240-1,300 MHz." Even then, ARRL said, operation there would conflict with a channel used for radio location.

ARRL said the use of 1,040 and 1,080 MHz, which would directly conflict with air traffic control transponder frequencies, represented the greatest threat to the safety of flight. The use of 1,010 MHz, employed for aeronautical guidance, could also be problematic.

ARRL cited the Lawmate transmitter and companion 6 W amplifier as examples of problematic devices being marketed in the US. Each costs less than $100 via the Internet. The device carries no FCC identification number.

"[T]he target market for these devices is the drone hobbyist, not licensed radio amateurs. The device, due to the channel configuration, has no valid Amateur Radio application," ARRL told the FCC. "While these transmitters are marked as appropriate for amateur use, they cannot be used legally for Amateur Radio communications." In the hands of unlicensed individuals, the transmitters could also cause interference to Amateur Radio communication in the 1.2 GHz band, ARRL contended.

The League said it's obvious that the devices at issue lack proper FCC equipment authorization under FCC Part 15 rules, which require such low-power intentional radiators to be certified. more

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Legal Ramifications of Having a Dashcam in Your Car

We've all seen the hilarious footage of a customer car being taken on a joyride by a mechanic, with the whole ordeal recorded by the customer's dashboard camera. Hapless technicians and porters flog cars, often with the dash cam right in front of them preparing to make them YouTube stars.

Are there any potential legal ramifications to the car owner for any of this? Believe it or not, yes. Here is what you need to know about your dash cam, from a legal perspective.

Many states have eavesdropping statutes. And this means I have to insert the normal caveat here: This WILL vary wildly from state to state. But in general terms, eavesdropping statutes govern whether you can record a conversation without the consent of some or all of the participants to the conversation. more

Industrial Espionage: Razer offers $25,000 to retrieve laptop prototype stolen at CES 2017

California-based gaming firm Razer, which showcased its three-screen gaming laptop prototype titled Project Valerie to the world at CES in Las Vegas, said that the laptops have gone missing from its tech show booth.

Company CEO Min-Liang Tan wrote on his Facebook page: "I've just been informed that two of our prototypes were stolen from our booth at CES today."

"Anyone who would do this clearly isn't very smart," he added. The post hinted that it was a potential industrial espionage and it is being taken "very seriously". 

Razer is now offering $25,000 (£20,600) for any "original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction" of those involved in the theft. As Tan said in his post "This reward offer is good for one year from the date it is first offered, unless extended by Razer. Information about the theft can be sent to more

Monday, January 9, 2017

Attorney Indicted for Installation of an Eavesdropping Device

KY - A local attorney was indicted Friday by a Christian County grand jury on charges of eavesdropping, according to court documents.

A summons was issued for Sands Morris Chewning, Hopkinsville, on charges of eavesdropping, second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and installation of an eavesdropping device. The court documents state the incident occurred Sept. 9, 2016. No other details are available.

Also indicted was Cherie H. Sherrill, Crofton, for eavesdropping, unlawful transaction with a minor and installation of an eavesdropping device. A summons was also issued for Sherrill. more

Everything You Wanted to Know About a Career in Executive Protection...

...but were afraid to ask ...or, didn't know who to ask.

The Executive Protection Institute (EPI) in New York City has an entry-level course which explains all. EPI was founded in 1978 and now incorporates the famous EP school founded by Dr. Richard W. Kobetz. He still teaches there.

The following is the course description.


This is an informative 2-Part Webinar Series designed to introduce men and women to the professional career field of personal protection and provide an overview and refresher for experienced practitioners.

Course Content                                               Topics Covered Include
Who is qualified?
Advance Work
Protective Measures
Where is the work?
Preventive Strategies
Traits Required
When to start?
Threat Assessment
What assignments can I expect?
Why consider this career?
Risk Management
How much money can I earn?

This Webinar series is for those who are curious or have an interest in the field of Providing Personal Protection. For individuals involved in other security careers, law enforcement, military, business, law, teaching, computers, sales, service industry and students; those who are considering another career or planning their retirement job. This is also an excellent overview and refresher for those currently involved in Executive Protection. An opportunity to learn the difference between "bodyguard" work and professional personal protection from the first school to consider Personal Protection as anew professional career and continues to teach worldwide since being founded in 1978.

This 2-Part Webinar Series will be conducted over two 3-hour evening sessions. Attendees will receive an invite to the virtual classroom after registration is confirmed.
The course is being held in NYC on January 13th from 9am-5pm. It will also be given as an on-line webinar on January 18 & 19 from 7pm to 10pm (EST).

While it's not free, it's affordable, and could change your life. more

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) - Try Not to Need It

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), signed into law on May 11, 2016 by President Obama, has received wide industry praise from manufacturers including Boeing, Caterpillar, Corning, Eli Lilly and Co., General Electric, Honda, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, ...

Government officials point out that trade secrets are worth $5 trillion to the U.S. economy, and losses can cost between $160 billion and $480 billion a year. Government data further points out that trade secrets comprise as much as 80 percent of the value of a company’s knowledge portfolio.

DTSA, which extends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, essentially gives trade secret owners the option of using federal law to file trade secret lawsuits. Prior to DTSA, only state law authorized these lawsuits. more

It took too long to get this good law, but try not to need it. Once your secrets are out the damage is done. Besides, it's far cheaper to conduct regularly scheduled Information Security Surveys with TSCM to protect your information, than it is to go to court. (TSCM - Technical Surveillance Countermeasures, aka debugging sweep.) ~Kevin

Idiocracy (2017) - Man Tries Burglarizing a Spy Shop

FL - Police say an attempted burglar chose an odd target which was a spy shop that sells, of all things, surveillance equipment. 

According to the manager of Spy Spot Investigations Spy Store in Deerfield Beach, the would-be burglar was, no shocker here, caught on camera.

Tannenbaum said suspect was caught on one of the surveillance specialty store's many cameras as he picked up a rock and headed straight for the store's front door. more with video

SpyCam News - The Covert Case of the Double Takedown

UK- Israel's ambassador to the UK has apologised after a senior member of his staff was secretly filmed saying he wanted to "take down" Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Israeli Embassy senior political officer Shai Masot made the comment in footage filmed in a London restaurant... It was recorded in October 2016 as part of an investigation by Al Jazeera. more with video

Aside from the obvious, this story is important because it showcases the audio and video capabilities of today's spy cameras. If this has you personally concerned for your privacy (and it should), check out ~Kevin

Australian Police Make a Good GPS Point

West Australian police are urging beachgoers to keep their valuables safe this summer, with a particular warning to those who use navigation devices...

Acting Senior Sergeant Martin said... navigation devices in particular posed a risk because owners usually programmed in their home location.

"If they leave their keys down at the beach sand, the offenders will grab the keys off the beach, walk up to the car park, find which car the keys belong to, they'll have access to that Navman, press that home button and now they've got keys and the location where those keys can be utilized and burglaries committed." more 

Spybusters Tip # 815 - Do not enter your exact home location into your GPS device, smartphone, laptop, etc. Your town center is close enough. Hopefully, you know the rest of the way home. ~Kevin

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Odd-Ball - Anti Facial Recognition to Debut at Sundance Film Festival

HyperFace is a new kind of camouflage that aims to reduce the confidence score of facial detection and recognition by providing false faces that distract computer vision algorithms...

HyperFace will launch as a textile print at Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2017.

HyperFace works by providing maximally activated false faces based on ideal algorithmic representations of a human face. These maximal activations are targeted for specific algorithms. The prototype is specific to OpenCV’s default frontalface profile. Other patterns target convolutional nueral networks and HoG/SVM detectors... HyperFace reduces the confidence score of the true face (figure) by redirecting more attention to the nearby false face regions (ground).

Conceptually, HyperFace recognizes that completely concealing a face to facial detection algorithms remains a technical and aesthetic challenge. Instead of seeking computer vision anonymity through minimizing the confidence score of a true face, HyperFace offers a higher confidence score for a nearby false face by exploiting a common algorithmic preference for the highest confidence facial region.

In other words, if a computer vision algorithm is expecting a face, give it what it wants. more

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Wiretapping — Olmstead v. United States (1928)

via Popular Mechanics...
For as long as people have communicated via wires, other people have been finding ways to listen in on their communications. After the telegraph was invented in 1837 and the telephone in 1876, detectives like the Pinkertons quickly realized the usefulness of tapping phone lines, for reasons varying from personal to corporate espionage. States and government agencies like the Justice Department acted slowly in response to the phenomena, passing laws and regulations without consistency.

Roy Olmstead
These laws would be ultimately challenged by one of the largest Constitutional undertakings of all time: Prohibition. Ray (sic) Olmstead was a cop-turned-bootlegger out of Seattle, known as "the Good Bootlegger" for his insistence of only selling alcohol imported from Canada and refusing to let his employees carry guns. But running his operation like a more traditional business opened Olmstead up to the same structural flaws of a business, which allowed federal agents to wiretap and then raid him.

Olmstead sued, claiming his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, the Supreme Court disagreed in a 5-4 decision. Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft believed in a strict interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, one that could only rely on physical presence and sight. The telephone just didn't feature into the equation.

However, it was the dissent that truly lasted. Given by Justice Louis Brandeis, it begins to focus on the future in a way that sounds downright prophetic today. "The progress of science," Brandeis wrote, "in furnishing the Government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire-tapping. Ways may someday be developed by which the Government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions." more

Light Bulb with Internet Streaming Camera Debuts at CES

NV - One of the products on show at CES is a lightbulb made by Bell & Wyson with an internet-streaming camera built into its body. video