Monday, April 29, 2019

Colombia's Court - Let's meet at Club Nogal, we know it's not bugged.

Colombia’s constitutional court said on Sunday it had been meeting outside its normal offices citing suspicions that the high court is bugged.

In a pair of messages on Twitter, the court also said it would ask the National Police and the Prosecutor General’s Office if their equipment and personnel are used for possible wiretaps...

Several magistrates confirmed to newspaper El Espectador that they believe that also their phone conversations are being intercepted after several personal conversations were leaked...

“We met in Club Nogal because there are no microphones there,” an anonymous magistrate told the television network. more

I wouldn't bet on it, especially now that you told the press where you meet. ~Kevin

Shooting Where the Sun Don't Shine, or New Cell for Solar Guy

NY - A Rocky Point man secretly video recorded his former co-workers while they were using the bathroom in their Ronkonkoma office, police say.

Michael Evans, 32, allegedly hid a camera in the ladies' room at Trinity Solar in Ronkonkoma last month.

According to prosecutors, the suspect installed the recording device in the restroom on three separate occasions. Authorities say it was plugged into a wall socket and was disguised to look like a phone chargermore

and another Voyeur Films Self...
KY - The Murray Police Department said in a release that officers responded Thursday to Murray High School after staff reported finding a recording device set up in the bathroom of the nurse's station. Police spokesman Sgt. Brant Shutt said the video recorder captured the person putting the device in place. Police arrested 53-year-old Mark Boggess, who is a teacher at the school as well as the track and field coach. He is charged with possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and voyeurism. more

and The Lollypop Man
UK - An Ipswich lollipop man who secretly filmed a member of staff in a school’s disabled toilets with a mobile phone has been spared an immediate prison sentence... On March 27 staff noticed that a mobile phone was recording from the pocket of a jacket belonging to Thompson which was hanging in the disabled toilets. The phone was taken to the staff office and Thompson was told about the discovery of the phone and asked to leave the school premises. When the phone was checked it was found to contain footage of a staff member using the toilet facilities. more  sing-a-long

and Police Get Moist
FL - The Brevard Sheriff’s Office says a local man used a hidden camera in a cell phone charger to watch women showering in his home. BCSO says he asked his niece to house-sit for him and she brought a friend.  Innvestigators say the women plucked the charger out of the wall, found a memory card in it, put that into a laptop, then saw the footage. Jonathan Moist, 46, is now facing a felony charge of video voyeurism. more

Tunnel Spy Traps Himself: "But it worked for El Chapo."

A man in northern Mexico had to be rescued after he accidentally trapped himself in a hole that he dug so he could spy on his former girlfriend in violation of a court order to stay away from her, authorities said Sunday.

The Sonora state attorney general’s office said the 50-year-old man had spent days digging the hole in Puerto Penasco, a town on the Gulf of California, only to become trapped and require assistance to get out...

The newspaper El Universal said the man dug a tunnel under the woman’s house. It said the woman told police that over the course of a week, she had heard scratching noises but assumed the noise was cats.

But when the sound grew louder, she investigated and found her former partner of 14 years trapped below, the report said. She said she ended the relationship because her partner was very jealous. more

Friday, April 26, 2019

Secret Video Surveillance in Hospital Labor and Delivery Rooms Suit

Early this month, 131 patients (and counting) of a women’s hospital in San Diego, California filed a lawsuit against the hospital after discovering that there was secret video surveillance in three labor and delivery operating rooms, recording medical procedures without patients’ consent.

Patients were recorded during Cesarean sections, birth complications, treatment after miscarriage, hysterectomies and other medical procedures from July of 2012 to July of 2013. Approximately 1,800 patients were recorded during this period. The patients are suing the hospital for invasion of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and unlawful recording of confidential information.

In addition to not informing the patients of the hidden cameras, the lawsuit alleges that the hospital was “grossly negligent” in its storage of the recordings. The lawsuit claims that recordings were stored on employee computers, often without password protection and that the hospital “destroyed at least half the recordings but cannot say when or how it deleted those files and cannot confirm that it took the appropriate steps to ensure the files were not otherwise recoverable.” This is not the first lawsuit against the hospital regarding the hidden cameras. more

Thursday, April 25, 2019

FutureWatch - Mind Reading - Thought to Speech

Scientists are reporting that they have developed a virtual prosthetic voice, a system that decodes the brain’s vocal intentions and translates them into mostly understandable speech, with no need to move a muscle, even those in the mouth.

“It’s formidable work, and it moves us up another level toward restoring speech” by decoding brain signals, said Dr. Anthony Ritaccio, a neurologist and neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., who was not a member of the research group. more

Mind reading is a topic we keep an eye on here, as it's the future of eavesdropping. ~Kevin

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Speak Like You Are Being Recorded

Michael Cohen has disavowed responsibility for some of the crimes to which he has pleaded guilty, privately contending in a recent recorded phone call that he hadn’t evaded taxes and that a criminal charge related to his home-equity line of credit was "a lie."
“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything,’” Mr. Cohen said during the March 25 call, recorded without Mr. Cohen’s knowledge by the actor and comedian Tom Arnold...

 Mr. Cohen has himself surreptitiously recorded conversations. During a raid of his home, office and hotel room in April 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized recordings the lawyer made while talking to journalists, political allies, and others, including Mr. Trump. more

Granny Was A Spy

UK - In 1999, an 87-year-old British woman held a press conference in front of her home to announce that for nearly four decades, she’d worked as a spy for the Soviet Union.

In fact, Melita Norwood was the Soviet Union’s longest-serving British spy...

In 1979, she and her husband—who knew about her spying and disapproved—visited Moscow so the Soviet Union could award her the Order of the Red Banner (she accepted the honorary award, but turned down the financial reward).

How did Norwood get away with it for so long? more

The Bose Knows... legally

According to a recent decision from a federal district court in Illinois, Bose Corp. may monitor and collect information about the music and audio files consumers choose to play through its wireless products and transmit that information to third parties without the consumers’ knowledge. 

Such action does not violate the federal Wiretap Act or the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute.

As such, the Court granted Bose’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s class action claims. more

How Real Spies Operate, or Watch the Donut Not the Hole

The most vulnerable targets are not computers, but people. Human intelligence gathering is an art. It’s about taking advantage of people’s vulnerabilities, no matter what they are, to get the information.”

And the arsenal to do so is said to be wide-ranging, from “IP intercept, ISMI catchers, dumpster diving, listening devices (bugs) and informants, to students at universities, Chinese businesses and their employees.” more
Michael Biggs and Larry Johnson quoted in the article.

Monday, April 22, 2019

“Son, go for it...I will kick your (expletive) (expletive).” An Extortionogrphy Win

FL - The president of Wichita’s teacher union has lost his defamation lawsuit against the makers of hidden-camera videos that captured him admitting to threatening a student with physical violence. 

A federal judge in Florida ruled against Steve Wentz, president of United Teachers of Wichita, and in favor of Project Veritas in connection to videos that were secretly recorded at a Florida hotel bar and a Panera restaurant in Kansas. Project Veritas describes its work as non-profit journalism that investigates and exposes corruption.

In the video, Wentz describes an episode with a former student in which he asked the student to stay after class, locked the door and pulled the shades down.

“You want to kick my (expletive)? You really think I’m a (expletive)?” Wentz says in the video. “Son, go for it. I’ll give you the first shot. But be sure to finish what you start because if you don’t, I guarantee you, I will kick your (expletive) (expletive).” more 

Corporate Security Alert:
Extortionography can be as devastating as audio eavesdropping, especially when targeted against private sector businesses. 

Tip: Conduct searches for electronic surveillance devices (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures, aka TSCM) on a regular basis. At the very least, have a written Recording in the Workplace Policy in effect.

James McCord, 93 - RIP

James McCord, a retired CIA employee who was convicted as a conspirator in the Watergate burglary and later linked the 1972 break-in to the White House in revelations that helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon, died June 15, 2017, at his home in Douglassville, Pa. He was 93...

McCord served in the CIA for 19 years, including as security chief at the Langley, Va., headquarters, before his supporting, at times sensational role in the events that precipitated the first resignation of a U.S. president.

He had retired from the spy agency and was privately employed as head of security for the Committee for the Re-Election of the President — commonly called CREEP — when he became entangled in a scheme to burglarize and bug the Democratic national headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington.

McCord had once taught a college course on how to protect buildings from intrusions, and he helped lead the operation
. more

David Fechheimer, 76 - RIP

David Fechheimer, a budding flower child of the 1960s and aspiring English professor who was spurred overnight by the fictional gumshoe Sam Spade to switch careers and become one of the nation’s leading private investigators, died on Tuesday in Redwood City, Calif. He was 76...

“I called Pinkerton and asked if they needed someone who had no experience and a beard,” Mr. Fechheimer said. “To my surprise, they said they needed someone with a beard that day. I thought I would do it a couple of weeks as a goof. It looked like fun, being Sam Spade. Pinkerton put me under cover on the docks, and I was hooked. I never went back to school.”

...He later joined the practice of the celebrated private eye Hal Lipset (famous for secreting a microphone in a martini olive) and opened his own office in 1976. more

Spycam Victim Fights Back

Singapore - NUS guy who filmed girl in shower suspended for a semester & asked to write apology letter.

Victim fights back on social media.

Two separate petitions have been started on behalf of a National University of Singapore student, who was a victim of an act of voyeurism while residing on campus housing.

The two petitions — one with 2,502 signatures and the other with 873 signatures (as of April 21, 5.30am) — were started to call for more to be done for the victim, as well as making punishments harsher as a form of deterrence. more

The USB Spycam - Widely Used - Know What it Looks Like

FL - A Titusville man used a hidden recording device to make videos of several people showering and using the bathroom at his home without their consent, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. 

One of the two realized the USB charger in Moist's bathroom was suspicious and recalled using it to charge her phone when she housesat for him in the past. The device was inspected and an SD memory card was found inside, according to arrest reports.  more

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Just Like Your Phone - Your Car is Spying on You

If you’re driving a late model car or truck, chances are that the vehicle is mostly computers on wheels, collecting and wirelessly transmitting vast quantities of data to the car manufacturer not just on vehicle performance but personal information, too, such as your weight, the restaurants you visit, your music tastes and places you go.

A car can generate about 25 gigabytes of data every hour and as much as 4,000 gigabytes a day, according to some estimates. The data trove in the hands of car makers could be worth as much as $750 billion by 2030, the consulting firm McKinsey has estimated. But consumer groups, aftermarket repair shops and privacy advocates say the data belongs to the car’s owners and the information should be subject to data privacy laws.

Yet Congress has yet to pass comprehensive federal data privacy legislation. more

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Julian Claxton Speaks Out on the Spy Camera Pandemic

Click to enlarge.
A spate of high-profile incidents have showcased just how easy it is for Airbnb hosts to spy on unsuspecting guests.

These cameras are cheap, easy to use and hard for guests to find, says Julian Claxton, managing director of counterespionage organisation, Jayde Consulting.
“Depending on how well they’re hidden, it can be very difficult to detect them without professional help,” Mr Claxton told The New Daily.

“The devices are really easy to get. If you type in ‘hidden camera’ into eBay you will get thousands of hits. The new ones, they’re building them into charger packs, into the bases of lamps, clocks, radios – you name it and you can put a camera in it.”

Those hiding cameras in hotels are looking for more specific targets, Mr Claxton says.

“Often it’s not the hotel themselves, it’s a rogue worker who is more interested in a perversion or extortion,” he said.

For instance, if you work for a major conglomerate and have a dalliance with a man or woman while you’re married, that video can then be used to extort that person.more | Learn how to detect spy cameras yourself.

Spycam: Firefighter v. Firefighter

US - A former Denver fire lieutenant was charged Thursday with secretly planting a recording device in the changing room used by a female firefighter...

Flesner, who is retired, allegedly placed the recording device in the sleeping room of another firefighter. The lens was facing the changing area, the news release says.

When the device was discovered and reported to superiors, of which he was one, Flesner allegedly tampered with the device. more

I really doubt he did this, but it made me laugh.

The New Zealand Embassy Spycam Case... or, You're-In-Trouble

The jury has seen footage from a covert camera found in a toilet at the New Zealand Embassy in the US, in the trial of top military attache.

A number of videos captured on 27 July were played to the jury this afternoon, the first being a video of the covert camera being set up. more

"It was a black box, probably about an inch, an inch and a half thick and three or four inches long. It appeared to be what I thought was a hard drive." more
Learn how to spot spycams yourself.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The "Yes Master" Bracelet

Children who end up caught in Chicago's policing and justice system are being outfitted with ReliAlert XC3 GPS ankle-cuffs supplied by the Track Group, who use them to log children's movements and to bark orders at them, as well as listening in on them. The children have to wear them 24/7 while on bail awaiting trial.

The company claims that the recording function in the tracking anklets generates a notification every time it is used, but its own technicians have testified under oath that the listening function can be covertly activated. Track Group stores all recordings of its interactions with children indefinitely.  more

"Sooo, what are you wearing Mr. big, strong, Alexa man."

Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening.

Sometimes, someone is. Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers... more

Idea: Taunt them. "Sooo, what are you wearing Mr. big, strong, Alexa man."

The Steinger, Iscoe & Greene Law Firm Bugging

A fascinating case, still unfolding!
What happened...

While attorney Gary Iscoe — the Iscoe of the decades-old Steinger, Iscoe & Greene personal injury law firm — is gone and two other associates have been fired, the strange goings-on remain shrouded in mystery. “It’s very John Grisham,” said attorney Michael Pike, who is representing the firm in a lawsuit aimed at finding out who the spies were, what they were seeking and why.

Listening devices behind a ceiling tile

When the firm’s finance director found drywall debris on the floor of her office when she came to work on Sept. 10, she asked a maintenance man to pop up a ceiling tile, according to West Palm Beach police who were summoned to investigate two days later. There, hidden in the recesses of the ceiling, the finance director and others discovered wires that were linked to an audio receiver, police said.

...police said they found wires running to cameras, microphones and recording equipment mainly in the firm’s finance, marketing and human resources departments. Some of the wires had been cut and a video recording device was missing. appears whoever installed the devices hurriedly removed the digital recorder once they realized police had been called.

From other authorized cameras at the firm, police said they recovered a video that showed two people, carrying tools and a ladder, entering the office at about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 9. Employees couldn’t identify one of the intruders, police said. The other person caught on camera was identified by employees as Michael Coronel, a 26-year-old former Marine who had worked as an investigator at the firm for about six months... more | analysis

Monday, April 8, 2019

Quote of the Week

“Boston is a target-rich environment for anyone who is interested in intellectual property.”
–US Assistant Attorney General John Demers  more

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You APT - Manditory Free Pen-Testing

New provisions made to China's Cybersecurity Law gives state agencies the legal authority to remotely conduct penetration testing on any internet-related business operating in China, and even copy and later share any data government officials find on inspected systems...

These new provisions, named "Regulations on Internet Security Supervision and Inspection by Public Security Organs" give the MSP the following new powers:
  • Conduct in-person or remote inspections of the network security defenses taken by companies operating in China.
  • Check for "prohibited content" banned inside China's border.
  • Log security response plans during on-site inspections.
  • Copy any user information found on inspected systems during on-site or remote inspections.
  • Perform penetration tests to check for vulnerabilities.
  • Perform remote inspections without informing companies.
  • Share any collected data with other state agencies.
  • The right to have two members of the People's Armed Police (PAP) present during on-site inspection to enforce procedures. more

Judd Bank's Tips on How to Spot A Liar

At some point in life, everyone is a victim of a lie. It may include romantic relationships, business transactions, political behavior and/or criminal misrepresentation...  

There are two main techniques in detecting deception without the use of a polygraph instrument. They are observing body language and asking open-ended questions... more

Concise and very educational. ~Kevin

Sunday, April 7, 2019

How to Tell if Someone Snoops on Your Computer

Think about all of the personal information stored on your computer -- it's essentially an extension of your whole identity in digital form. You may have all your photos, videos, resumes, contacts, documents and other sensitive information saved on your PC or Mac.

Can you imagine someone snooping around and getting their hands on all that?

But how can you tell if someone was accessing your files and applications without your knowledge? Is someone using your computer behind your back? Thankfully, there are various ways to find out.

Read on and learn these tricks you can use to see if someone is snooping on your PC or Mac... more

Ya Think?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested Friday that Yujing Zhang, the woman who breached security at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, Florida club, may have been a Chinese spy. more

Polish Millionaire Arrested Over Eavesdropping Scandal

A fugitive Polish "multi-millionaire" at the heart of an eavesdropping scandal... in 2015 has been arrested in Spain, police said Saturday.

Marek Falenta was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in Poland in December 2016 for setting up an eavesdropping system in swanky restaurants in Warsaw that saw waiters record conversations between business-people and politicians.

That led to a major scandal that erupted in 2014 with media publishing extracts of incriminating conversations... more

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Surprising Cost of a GPS Tracking & Cellular Eavesdropping Bug

As described on eBay...

Ultra Mini GF-07 GPS Long Standby Magnetic SOS Tracking Device for Vehicle/Car/Person Location Tracker Locator System Anti-lost Device 

1. Small size and light weight, easy for carry.

2. Black shell, easy to hide, perfect for tracking vehicles, teens, spouses, elderly persons or assets. With two powerful magnets inside, easy to attach to vehicle firmly, no extra installation need.

3. All you need is a working SIM card (NOT included!) to insert into the device, then you can track and map (with Google Maps) in real-time over the Internet.

4. Dial SIM card number, then you can hear voice around this tracker, with no light and no noise, you can monitoring and spy what's going on around the tracker silently and secretly.

5. Voice Recording Function: Send text message 555 to SIM card number, it will reply a message “Snd” and start recording, SIM card and TF card are not included.

Electronic surveillance devices, like this one, are flooding into the country. Below is just one of the many ads on eBay alone. At these prices (as low as $11.99, and cheaper from the China and Hong Hong listings) they are throwaway items. Set it and forget it. No need to risk retrieving it to recharge the battery. 

Businesses especially need to be concerned. Imagine competitors tracking your sales people, delivery trucks, or your top executives. Learn more about these types of devices and what you can do about them.
Click to enlarge.

Pre-Installed Anti Malware Phone App Does More Harm Than Good

Researchers have discovered multiple vulnerabilities in a pre-installed app on phones made by one of the world’s biggest smartphone vendors that potentially impacted the privacy and security of more than 150 million Android users worldwide.

According to security researchers at Check Point Research, the vulnerabilities were found in an app pre-installed on smartphones made by Xiaomi, the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in China and India, and the fourth biggest by market share in the world.

The app in question was a self-proclaimed security app dubbed “Guard Provider,” which promised to protect Xiaomi users from malware.

Xiaomi said last year it had originally hoped to offer its smartphones and other hardware here in the States in 2019, though those efforts may have been delayed for PR reasons... more


Thursday, April 4, 2019

The War Against Smartphone Spyware is On

Eva Galperin says she's learned the signs: the survivors of domestic abuse who come to her describing how their tormentors seem to know everyone they've called, texted, and even what they discussed in their most private conversations...

Galperin has a plan to end that scourge for good—or at least take a serious bite out of the industry.

In a talk she is scheduled to give next week at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Singapore, Galperin will lay out a list of demands:
  • First, she's calling on the antivirus industry to finally take the threat of stalkerware seriously, after years of negligence and inaction. 
  • She'll also ask Apple to take measures to protect iPhone users from stalkerware, given that the company doesn't allow antivirus apps into its App Store. 
  • Finally, and perhaps most drastically, she says she'll call on state and federal officials to use their prosecutorial powers to indict executives of stalkerware-selling companies on hacking charges.
"It would be nice to see some of these companies shut down," she says. "It would be nice to see some people go to jail." more

Check here if you need a solution for checking your Android phone for spyware.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mar-a-Lago Intruder Caught with USB Stick Loaded with Malware

A Chinese woman carrying a thumb drive loaded with malware was detained at Mar-a-Lago Saturday after trying to gain access to events advertised on Chinese-language social media by Li “Cindy” Yang, the South Florida massage parlor entrepreneur who also ran a business selling access to President Donald Trump and his family.

The woman, Yujing Zhang, has been charged with two federal crimes: making false statements to a federal officer and entering restricted property.
She was carrying four cellphones, one laptop, one external hard drive and a thumb drive, according to court records. In a charging document, a Secret Service agent said a preliminary forensic examination of the thumb drive showed it contained “malicious malware.” The court filing did not provide further details about the nature of the malware. more

See our report on dangerous USB sticks, and what to do about them.
Worried about a person like this entering your premises? Call us.

Monday, April 1, 2019

How to Stop Acoustical Leakage Eavesdropping

Acoustical leakage often occurs even when specific steps are taken to keep conversations private, like closing an office or conference room door. But, as sure as sound wants to migrate, outsiders want to hear...

Aside from structural requirements, walls are built to provide privacy, primarily visual privacy. Little thought is given to privacy from acoustical leakage.

Thin walls and loose fitting doors are the biggest leakers, with open air plenum ceilings and duct work doing their share of leaking as well.

Ideally, acoustical leakage mitigation should be addressed by the architect and installed during the initial construction phase of the building project. Even when they do, a common misconception among contractors is that soundproofing means throwing up another layer of drywall. Wrongo.

Acoustical leakage can be mitigated two ways... more

International Spy Museum is Moving and Expanding

The name isn’t changing, but when International Spy Museum opens in its shiny new home in May, it’s going to be about a lot more than just spies. 

The museum, armed with a 140,000-square-foot new building at 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW, more than 5,000 new artifacts and a whole lot of tech, now aims to be about the full field of intelligence — not just human intelligence, or spying.

Spy will begin selling tickets for the opening, on May 12, in the coming weeks, and will also be rolling out an online trivia game that will give people a chance to win tickets to its opening gala, to be held May 11. more

Man Admits Placing Camera in Friend's Home - Spied for a Year

FL - A 55-year-old Florida man accused of installing a hidden camera in a family friend’s home and watching them on his phone was arrested and charged Wednesday.

Terry Sumner plugged the camera into a wall outlet in the living room of the home sometime last year, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman discovered the camera March 5 and contacted authorities.

Sumner, of Plant City, admitted to detectives that he placed the camera there and it had been there for about a year.

“Sumner explained that there was a smartphone application on his phone that he would use to watch, listen and record activity in the victim's home through a live feed...” more

Former French Spy Accused in Africa Murder Plot Shot Dead in ‘Professional’ Hit

A former French spy was found dead with several bullet wounds at a rest stop in the Alps near Lake Geneva.  Police said the killing of Daniel Forestier was a “professional job” and he had been shot five times in the head and heart, according to reports. more