Friday, June 23, 2017

TSCM Questions We Get - "How small is a bug's microphone?"

A. Very small.
You probably carry the one shown in the photo, in your cell phone.

In some cases, microphones are invisible. Before you say impossible, hear me out...

You are surrounded by items which can be commandeered for surveillance eavesdropping wherever you go. Solids and liquids conduct sound even better than air. Vibrations through these items may be picked up and amplified at some distance using: a piezoelectric contact microphone, a hydrophone, or light / sound beams (laser / ultrasonic).

Optimic1140 fiber optical microphone
There is also one esoteric microphone to consider—the fiber optic microphone. No wires. No electricity. Just connected to a clear glass thread.

It is so unusual, many people who claim to be technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) technicians don't know it exists.

So, when you add Technical Information Security Surveys to your organization's security program, ask the vendor what they know about fiber optic microphones. Good ones will tell you all about it, and how it works. They will also be impressed with you for asking.