Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to Tell if You're Being Bugged

Warning Signs of Covert Eavesdropping or Bugging - By Granite Island Group

  1. Others know your confidential business or professional trade secrets.
    This is the most obvious indicator of covert eavesdropping activities. Theft of confidential information is a multi-billion dollar underground industry in the United States. Often the loss of your secrets will show up in very subtle ways so you should always trust your instincts in this matter. When your competitors know things that are obviously private, or the media finds out about things they should not know, then it is reasonable to suspect technical eavesdropping or bugging.
  2. Secret meetings and bids seem to be less than secret.
    Confidential meetings and bids are very popular targets for corporate spies. How would you like the plans for the corporate takeovers you're planning to become public knowledge? Would copies of your product designs be of any use to your competitors? Would it be beneficial for your competitors to know how much you're quoting for the same project?
  3. People seem to know your activities when they shouldn't.
  4. You have noticed strange sounds or volume changes on your phone lines.
    This is commonly caused by an amateur eavesdropper when they attach a wiretap, or activate a similar listening device. Surveillance devices often cause slight anomalies on the telephone line such a volume shift or drop-out. Professional eavesdroppers and their equipment usually do not make such noises; so if this is going on it could indicate that an amateur eavesdropper is listening in. On the other hand you could simply be experiencing a flaw in the line, but you should check it out.
  5. VHF phone bug - 33x14x3mm, no need for additional power, up to 200m transmitted range.

  6. You have noticed static, popping, or scratching on your phone lines.
    This is caused by the capacitive discharge which occurs when two conductors are connected together (such as a bug or wiretap on a phone line). This is also a sign that an amateur eavesdropper or poorly trained spy is playing with your phone lines. It could be nothing more then a problem with your phone line or instrument, but a TSCM person should evaluate the situation to make sure.
  7. Sounds are coming from your phones handset when it's hung up.
    This is often caused by a hook switch bypass, which turns the telephone receiver into a eavesdropping microphone (and also a speaker). There is probably somebody listening to everything you say or do within twenty feet of the telephone (if this is happening).
  8. Your phone often rings and nobody is there, or a very faint tone, or high pitched squeal or beep is heard for a fraction of a second.
    This is an indicator of a slave device, or line extender being used on your phone line. This is also a key indicator of a harmonica bug, or infinity transmitter being used. Of course it may also be nothing more then a fax machine or modem calling the wrong number (but a TSCM person should evaluate the situation to make sure).
  9. Phone Parallel TX-1600 - uses its own power and having an input impedance of more than 9 Mohm it is not detectable by most sophisticated detectors.

  10. You can hear a tone on your line when your phone is on the hook (by using an external amplifier).
    To check for something like this you would have to obtain a "recorder starter" interface (with a VOX option), or some kind of a high gain audio amplifier such as a uAmp or Kaiser 1059. Then with the phone hung-up listen to your telephone wiring. If you hear a faint solid dual tone it is a dead giveaway of someone using a "slave" eavesdropping device on your (or one of your neighbors) telephone lines. Such devices create a "command tone" when the subject hangs up the phone (so you must ensure that all of your phones are hung-up). On an added note: the most common command tones for illicit eavesdropping devices are 2100 Hz and DTMF-C, but any tone combination may be used.
  11. Your AM/FM radio has suddenly developed strange interference.
    Many amateur and spy shop eavesdropping devices use frequencies within or just outside the FM radio band, these signals tend to drift and will "quiet" an FM radio in the vicinity of the bug. Look for the transmissions at far ends of the FM radio band, and at any quiet area within the FM band. If the radio begins to squeal then slowly move it around the room until the sound become very high pitched. This is referred to as feedback detection or loop detection and will often locate the bug. The "stereo" function should be turned off so the radio is operating in "mono" as this will provide a serious increase in sensitivity. If you find a "squealer" in this manner then immediately contact a TSCM and get them to your location FAST.
  12. Your car radio suddenly starts "getting weird"
    Keep in mind that the antenna your car radio uses may be (and often is) exploited by an eavesdropper, and that such usage may interfere with radio reception (so be concerned if you automobile radio suddenly starts getting weird).
  13. Nanny cam - wireless surveillance inside a child's toy.

  14. Your television has suddenly developed strange interference.
    Television broadcast frequencies are often used to cloak a eavesdropping signal, but such a devices also tends to interfere with television reception (usually a UHF channel). Televisions also "suck in" a lot of RF energy and because of this are very sensitive to any nearby transmitters (this is technically called "Bandwidth, and TV signals use a lot of it). A small handheld television with a collapsible antenna may be used to sweep a room. Carefully watch for interference around channel numbers 2, 7, 13, 14, 50-60, and 66-68 as these frequencies are very popular with eavesdroppers.
  15. You have been the victim of a burglary, but nothing was taken.
    Professional eavesdroppers often break into a targets home or office, and very rarely leave direct evidence of the break-in; however, occupants of the premises will often "pickup on something not being right" such as the furniture being moved slightly.
  16. Electrical wall plates appear to have been moved slightly or "jarred".
    One of the most popular locations to hide eavesdropping devices is inside, or behind electrical outlets, switches, smoke alarms, and lighting fixtures. This requires that the wall plates be removed. Look for small amounts of debris located on the floor directly below the electrical outlet. Also, watch for slight variations in the color or appearance of the power outlets or light switches as these are often swapped out by an eavesdropper. Also note if any of the screws which hold the wall plate against the wall have been moved from their previous position.
  17. Measuring a miniscule 2x2x2cm, this little camera can be inserted inside your shirt. It can monitor activities 100 meters away and has a very good quality colour lens with a sensitive microphone.

  18. A dime-sized discoloration has suddenly appeared on the wall or ceiling.
    This is a tell tale sign that a pinhole microphone or small covert video camera has been recently installed.
  19. One of your vendors just gave you any type of electronic device such as a desk radio, alarm clock, lamp, small TV, boom box, CD player, and so on.
    Many of these "gifts" are actually Trojan horses which contain eavesdropping devices. Be very suspicious of any kind of pen, marker, briefcase, calculator, "post-it" dispenser, power adapter, pager, cell phone, cordless phone, clock, radio, lamp, and so on that is given as a gift. That little gift the salesman left for you may be a serious hazard.
  20. A small bump or deformation has appeared on the vinyl baseboard near the floor.
    Strong indicator that someone may have concealed covert wiring or a microphone imbedded into the adhesive which holds the molding to the wall. Such deformation will often appear as a color shift, or lightening of the color.
  21. The smoke detector, clock, lamp, or exit sign in your office or home looks slightly crooked, has a small hole in the surface, or has a quasi reflective surface.
    These items are very popular concealment for covert eavesdropping devices. Often when these devices are installed at a target location they are rarely installed straight. Also watch out for things like this that "just appear", or when there is a slight change in their appearance.
  22. The Digital Spy Camera Pen is compact enough to fit in your pocket. The device can take images and stores them on its built-in 2MB memory and transfers images to your PC using a serial cable.

  23. Certain types of items have "just appeared" in your office of home, but nobody seems to know how they got there.
    Typical items to watch for and beware of are: clocks, exit signs, sprinkler heads, radios, picture frames, and lamps.
  24. White dry-wall dust or debris is noticed on the floor next to the wall.
    A sign that a pinhole microphone or video camera may have been installed nearby. It will appear as if someone has dropped a small amount of powdered sugar either on the floor, or on the wall.
  25. You notice small pieces of ceiling tiles, or "grit" on the floor, or on the surface area of your desk. Also, you may observe a cracked, chipped, or gouged ceiling tiles, or ones that are sagging, or not properly set into the track.
    Prime indicator that a ceiling tile has been moved around, and that someone may have installed a hidden video camera or other eavesdropping device in your office or near your desk. Also watch for cracks or chips in the ceiling tiles. Amateur and poorly trained spies tend to crack or damage acoustical tiles. The ceiling tiles in any executive areas should never contain any cracks, nicks, gouges, or stains. Any ceiling tile that becomes damaged (for what ever reason) should immediately replaced and the cause of the damage documented. In such cases it is also wise to have a TSCM specialist inspect the area around the chipped, broken, or damaged tile to determine if a hostile eavesdropping device may have been introduced.
  26. You notice that "Phone Company" trucks and utilities workers are spending a lot of time near your home or office doing repair work.
    If you see the same or similar vehicles more then three times then you may have a serious problem (at least according to the U.S. State Department training course on counter surveillance).
  27. The SC4142 sprinkler camera blends in with virtually any office, warehouse, restaurant or other public interior environment without giving any sign of surveillance.

  28. Telephone, cable, plumbing, or air conditioning repair people show up to do work when no one called them.
    A very common ruse which eavesdroppers use to get into a facility is to fake a utility outage, and then show up to fix the problem. While they are fixing "the problem" they are also installing eavesdropping devices. Some of the more popular outages involve power, air conditioning, telephone, and even the occasional false fire alarm.
  29. Service or delivery trucks are often parked nearby with nobody (you can see) in them.
    These vehicles are commonly used as listening posts, be very cautious of any vehicle which has a ladder or pipe rack on the roof. Also, be wary of any vehicle which has tinted windows, or an area which you cannot see though (like a service van). The listening post vehicle could be any vehicle from a small Geo Tracker, Suburban, Blazer, Trooper, or Cargo Van. Look for any vehicle which could conceal a person in the back or has tinted windows. Also, keep in mind that the eavesdropper may relocate the vehicle several times, so look around. Typically, eavesdroppers like to get within 500-750 feet from the place or person they are eavesdropping on.
  30. Your door locks suddenly don't "feel right", they suddenly start to get "sticky", or they completely fail.
    Prime evidence that the lock has been picked, manipulated, or bypassed. Try to always use biaxial locks with sidebars (such as ASSA or Medeco). Also, only use double sided deadbolts in all doors, and good quality window bars on all windows, and a good quality door bar on all doors not used as a primary entry doors.
  31. Found in a major food distributor's conference room. It was purchased on Ebay for $23.00.

  32. Furniture has been moved slightly, and no one knows why.
    A very popular location for the installation of eavesdropping device is either behind, or inside furniture (couch, chair, lamp, etc.) People who live or work in a targeted area tend to notice when furnishings have been moved even a fraction of an inch. Pay close attention to the imprint which furniture makes on rugs, and the position of lamps shades. Also watch the distance between furniture and the wall as eavesdroppers are usually in a hurry and rarely put the furniture back in the right place.
  33. Things "seem" to have been rummaged through, but nothing is missing (at least that you noticed).
    A "less than professional spy" will often rummage through a targets home for hours, but very rarely will they do it in a neat and orderly fashion. The most common "rummaging" targets are the backs of desk drawers, the bottom of file cabinets, closets, and dresser drawers.
  34. An eavesdropper sends you a copy of your private conversations.
    As simple as it seems this is the strongest indicator, and solid proof of eavesdropping. An eavesdropper will sometimes send a victim a copy of a private conversation they intercepted in an attempt at blackmail, or in an attempt to terrorize, or to just stalk the victim. This is commonly seen in civil lawsuits, criminal court cases, marital problems, shareholder disputes, custody battles, and other situations were one side has a position of weakness and is trying to physiologically undermine their opponent.

Who Gets Bugged?

High Threat Business Situations

  • Your company has stock which is publicly traded (or will be soon)
  • Your company is having labor problems, union activities, or negotiations
  • Your company is involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit
  • Your company has layoffs pending (or they have just happened)
  • Your company is involved in the fashion, automotive, advertising, or marketing industry

Anyone can be the target of covert eavesdropping, however; some people are under greater risk than others because of financial position, occupation, legal, or domestic situation.

  • Spouses bug each other on a regular basis
  • Parents bug children
  • Businessmen bug other businessmen
  • Scientists bug other scientists
  • Students bug professors
  • Attorneys bug other attorneys (and their clients)
  • Insurance companies bug accident victims, and other claimants
  • Construction companies bug other construction companies
  • Salesmen bug clients
  • Collection agencies bug debtors
  • Police officers bug suspects
  • Executive recruiters bug personnel directors
  • Rock fans bug rock musicians
  • Department stores bug customers and merchandise

High Threat Personal Situations (when to be seriously concerned)

You (or someone close to you) have been:

  • Involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit
  • Been questioned, arrested or arraigned by the police
  • In the process of getting married, divorced, or separated
  • A minister or religious leader (i.e.: priest, rabbi, deacon, bishop, elder...)
  • Running for any type of elected public office
  • Elected to any public office (i.e.: mayor, selectman, school principal)
  • Executive or scientist at any large company
  • Recently filed a insurance claim
  • Engaging in political demonstrations or activism
  • Employed by a defense contractor, Department of Energy, etc...
  • Private Investigators have been "poking" around
  • You are in the upper income bracket

Keep in mind that anybody with Money, Power, Influence, or access to sensitive, classified, or personal information is at serious personal risk.

On a related note: If you work (or have worked) for any kind of military, governmental, law enforcement or judicial agency the possibility of you being targeted for eavesdropping is very high. Such eavesdropping can come from either side of the law, and is rarely legal or court sanctioned.

Additionally, people married to, associated with, divorced from, getting divorced from, dating, or getting intimate with a member of law enforcement, private security, PI, or any level of the judicial system should be concerned about illegal eavesdropping (yes, cops love to bug their wives and girlfriends).

If any of the above warning signs apply and you are concerned about covert eavesdropping or wiretapping then it would be wise to immediately contact a Technical Surveillance Counter Measures firm and schedule a "Bug Sweep" or TSCM inspection. However, do not call from a suspect telephone, cellular telephone, or cordless phone.



Visit my Spy Store to pick up your own gear. - c

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

TSCM is not a known industry and as a result many people who are victims of eavesdroping and wiretaps remain unaware as to where to seek technical assistance to resolve their intercepted communication.
Charles Del Campo
Bodyguards007@aol.com
http://miami.olx.com/private-detective-iid-24561759

Anonymous said...

This is all too Disturbing. I think this is the case with me. Others have called me crazy for being able to see the signs. What can anyone do? The people with money or power have no concern with others privacy. Privacy is a joke these days. I am unsure if there is any such thing as privacy anymore.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is going on with me also. I completely agree with the posted above me. I think it is a conspiracy, people with money and friends in high places do this and it is taking over my life. I have no privacy, my mail is always opened, someone comes inside my house but never steals anything...papers get missing and then reappear. It is very disturbing and I need help! Please help me.
Mazarati_2011@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

When I have the TV on, I hear voices other than the people speaking on the TV shows. I recently moved from an apartment complex I had lived at for 22 years. When I moved in 22 years ago, I noticed there was no trim at the bottom of the walls in any of my rooms, but there was trim in other apartments. I became suspicious that perhaps a wire or some type of eavesdropping device had been placed and I was being observed. I asked the apartment management why I didn't have any trim and they never addressed it. A little over a year ago I checked the box in the back of a vacant apartment 2 doors away from mine and found a tag with my telephone number on it. I was foolish not to report it to my telephone company. I don't know the technical aspects of using telephone wiring for surveillance, but I believe someone was shadowing me. I even thought that maybe tape recording equipment had been placed in my electrical outlets.

Stupidly I moved from my apartment into the apartment that was vacant and had the tag with my telephone number on it. When I moved into the new apartment, I was bothered by voices which I believe were electronically transmitted into my apartment to bother me. By the way, all of this coincides with my being harassed at my job between 2006 and 2010 with management giving me an assistant who never showed up or couldn't do the work. I believe they wanted me to resign because I had worked in the office for almost 15 years and had worked up to $1,000/week and it was costing them too much. Remarks were made in the office to me that made it obvious to me that recordings of me in my apartment had been made and were played to some of the office workers so they could make me feel uncomfortable.
Now I'm in a new apartment about 2 miles from where I used to live and I believe I'm still being stalked. I have wireless and had the cable TV/wireless technician back last week to complain about the amplification of strange voices when the TV volume is turned up. The technician replaced the box and said something about the outside wiring. What I want to know is if cable TV could set things up so that a person could be monitored through their service/wiring.

In my original apartment I called an attorney and he advised me to call the police. The police told me to move and it was worse in the new apartment! At first I thought it was my upstairs neighbors saying to me things like "Afford it." and "Earn it." But now I think it was voices being piped into my living quarters by an unknown source to intentionally bother me. I'm going to contact an attorney again, but maybe I should invest in a good recording device so they can hear the voices.

I forgot to mention that a horizontal band appears on my TV set whenever the voices are heard. If I turn up the TV volume, they become louder. At my old apartment and my new one, the young woman's voice is the same and there's also a male voice, usually later in the day. It's obvious I'm being tailed.
Also, when I went to my auto dealer to fix a tail light last week, they said it would take them hours because the wiring was so goofed up. So I'm wondering if someone played around with my car wiring in order to tail me. It's very annoying.

Anonymous said...

I HAD A SIMILIAR SITUATION IT STARTED HAPPENING TO ME WHEN I MOVED OUT MY GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE. MARCH OF 2006 I MOVED INTO MY OWN APARTMENT AT THE AGE OF 23 WITH MY SON. I DAY I STARTED TO GET INTO MY SHOWER AND KNOW I HEARD A VOICE SAY "SHE NORMALY DON'T CLOSE IT". FROM THERE IT SEEM THOUGH I WAS BEING WATCHED AND DIDN'T KNOW HOW.UNTIL CHRISTMAS OF O7' I CALLED THE POLICE THEY LOOKED AT THE AC VENT, FLASHED THEIR FLASH LIGHTS UP THERE AND SAID WE CAN'T FIND ANYTHING I ALMOST WENT INSANE. REALLY. I KNEW I WASN'T CRAZY. I FELT SHAME AND ASKED MYSELF WHY ME. I WOULD GO TO WORK AND PEOPLE WOULD SAY THINGS THAT WAS ALWAYS SIMILAR TO WHAT I DID. I WOULD SING AROUND THE HOUSE AND PEOPLE AT WORK WOULD SAY CERTAIN THINGS THAT MADE ME THINK. GO TO STORES AND MALES THAT STAYED IN THE SAME APARTMENT PLACE WAS ALWAYS THERE. LATE NIGHT AT WALMART WITH MY MOM SHOPPING AND GETTING MY NAILS DONE. I STILL LIVE WITH IT. BUT I TRY TO OVER LOOK IT. I HAD A SITUATION WHERE A MALE FRIEND SPENT THE NIGHT. I GOT UP TO TAKE A SHOWER FOR WORK AFTER I GOT OUT I WAS LOOKING FOR MY CELL PHONE WHICH IS NORMALLY AT THE HEAD OF MY BED BECAUSE I USE MY ALARM CLOCK ON IT TO WAKE ME UP OR TELL THE TIME. SO I WAS LIKE HEY OR YOU ON MY PHONE. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF THATS STRANGE. I FOUND IT TANGLE UP AT THE FOOT OF THE BED IN THE SHEETS AND BEFORE I GOT INTO THE SHOWER I KNOW IT WAS AT THE HEAD OF THE BEAD. NOT PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER I THOUGT HE WAS CHECKING TO SEE IF ANOTHER MALES NUMBER WAS IN MY PHONE BUT WHY HIDE IT AT THE FOOT OF THE BED. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK BUT SOMEONE IS DRIVING ME INSANE AND I FEEL ITS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. I DON'T WANT TO BE THOUGHT OF AS CRAZY SO I LIVE WITH IT. I REALLY BELIEVE I'M BEING TAPPED MY TV DOWNSTAIRS DOES WEIRD THINGS. I HAVE MY PHONE ON THE CHARGER ALL NIGHT GO TO WORK AND AFTER I GET OFF GO TO USE MY PHONE AND THE BATTERY IS LOW AS IF I'VE BEEN ON IT SO I POWERED IT OFF ONE TIME AND STILL THE SAME THING. STRANGE.

Victoria said...

When you're a victim of this you naturally go into a hyper vigilant state which means you may interpret some incidences wrongly suffering even when its something else...the whole things a joke. At the end of the day the saddos stalking you are never going to admit it as they'd go to jail so either move or refuse to be inhibited by their problem. This is quite hard. Ignore it it's difficult but if they know you're upset it's like bullying it keeps them interested try to bore them alternatively leave the country ! And of course if you can get evidence(don't waste loads of money half these experts miss spy cameras etc) press charges. It's an unethical wrong situation pity them and be strong! Humour is really good at releasing stress too...don't let it bother you or disturb you everything passes away.

Anonymous said...

I think that my husband have a bug in my car. How I can check this? He is also good with fixing any problems on cars, so it might be hard for me to detect, but he knows all my conversations with other people.

Anonymous said...

Strong radio field may indicate state of the art surveillance equipment placed above your ceiling by removing the floor of apartment above yours. It is happening to me now. I can sit in the dark and actually hear the switches going off. When owners took up floor in apt. Above mine, they posted " no trespassing " signs on front door. Very scandalous activity on owner of apartment owner' s part.
Conclusion: A serious violation off privacy.