Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BBC: Are hi-tech spies stealing all your firm's secrets?

Last weekend's reports about the New Zealand rugby team's discovery of a listening device sewn in to a hotel meeting room chair, have illustrated just how much spying technology has advanced in recent years.

These days, you don't need to sit outside in a van with your headphones on, listening to static for an hour before the battery runs out and the tape recorder gives a tell-tale clunk.

Tiny matchbox-sized gadgets are now capable of transmitting audio and video for hours on end to the other side of the world. more

If you are in business, you have information others want.  Don't be an easy target.
Order our 3-point information security assessment (Bug sweep / TSCM, Wi-Fi security and compliance audit & Information Security Survey)

Rugby Bugging Scandal - CEO - Nieve? Negligent? You Decide...

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver says... he’d never previously heard of sports teams sweeping rooms for bugs.

“I’m not going to describe the All Blacks as paranoid, it’s up to them to run their team the way they want to,” Pulver said.

“But I can tell you we don’t sweep rooms.” more

Obviously, if you never check, you'll never know. TSCM inspection sweeps work. Just ask the All Blacks.

CNN Report: How is the US / China Cyber Theft Agreement Working Out?

About a year ago, China and the United States formally agreed not to conduct or knowingly support the cyber theft of each other's intellectual property.

So, how is that agreement working out?

Not great, said Adm. Mike Rogers, head of US Cyber Command.

"Cyber operations from China are still targeting and exploiting US government, defense industry, academic and private computer networks," Rogers said last April during testimony before a US Senate committee.

Cyber theft of US trade secrets can easily ruin American businesses and result in higher prices for consumers. Even more worrisome, stolen American military secrets could put US servicemen and women at risk during combat. more with video

See the dramatic story of how the United States caught and convicted an American who was spying for China. Watch CNN's "Declassified," Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Eye in Sky Surveillance - “Imagine Google Earth with TiVo capability.”

Baltimore, MD - Since January, police have been testing an aerial surveillance system adapted from the surge in Iraq.

[See excellent video report.]

A half block from the city’s central police station, in a spare office suite above a parking garage, Ross McNutt, the founder of Persistent Surveillance Systems, monitored the city...

Since this discreet arrangement began in January, it had felt like a make-or-break opportunity for McNutt. His company had been trying for years to snag a long-term contract with an American metropolitan police department. Baltimore seemed like his best shot to date, one that could lead to more work.

He’s told police departments that his system might help them reduce crime by as much as 20 percent in their cities, and he was hoping this Baltimore job would allow him to back up the claim. “I don’t have good statistical data yet, but that’s part of the reason we’re here,” he said. McNutt believes the technology would be most effective if used in a transparent, publicly acknowledged manner; part of the system’s effectiveness, he said, rests in its potential to deter criminal activity.

McNutt is an Air Force Academy graduate, physicist, and MIT-trained astronautical engineer who in 2004 founded the Air Force’s Center for Rapid Product Development. The Pentagon asked him if he could develop something to figure out who was planting the roadside bombs that were killing and maiming American soldiers in Iraq. In 2006 he gave the military Angel Fire, a wide-area, live-feed surveillance system that could cast an unblinking eye on an entire city.

The system was built around an assembly of four to six commercially available industrial imaging cameras, synchronized and positioned at different angles, then attached to the bottom of a plane. As the plane flew, computers stabilized the images from the cameras, stitched them together and transmitted them to the ground at a rate of one per second. This produced a searchable, constantly updating photographic map that was stored on hard drives. His elevator pitch was irresistible: “Imagine Google Earth with TiVo capability.” more more videos

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bugging devices 'widespread' According to Prime Minister

NZ - Prime Minister John Key says he too has been bugged, but won't go into specifics about how often that has happened, where it occurred and who might have been responsible.

His comments come as police in Sydney investigate the discovery of a listening device in a hotel meeting room used by the All Blacks.

Example of a digital transmitter.
Mr Key said it had happened to him, but would not give any details, except to say he would only know about a fraction of the times he had been bugged.

"I'm just saying it's not a new concept that people would put in bugging devices ... I'm just saying it's widespread and I think people would be wise to consider those factors." more

When you think about it, we only know about covert bugging, wiretapping and optical surveillance from the failed attempts. 

By definition, all successful eavesdropping is never discovered. (Usually because no one is looking for it.)

This is why smart businesses, like the All Blacks rugby organization, conduct proactive technical surveillance countermeasures inspections (aka TSCM).

If you would like to add TSCM inspections to your security strategy, contact me. I'll recommend a trusted specialist in your area. ~Kevin

Facebook Surveillance Would Make Santa Jealous, or...

...98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you...

Say you’re scrolling through your Facebook Newsfeed and you encounter an ad so eerily well-suited, it seems someone has possibly read your brain.

Maybe your mother’s birthday is coming up, and Facebook’s showing ads for her local florist. Or maybe you just made a joke aloud about wanting a Jeep, and Instagram’s promoting Chrysler dealerships.

Whatever the subject, you’ve seen ads like this. You’ve wondered — maybe worried — how they found their way to you...

While you’re logged onto Facebook, for instance, the network can see virtually every other website you visit. Even when you’re logged off, Facebook knows much of your browsing: It’s alerted every time you load a page with a “Like” or “share” button, or an advertisement sourced from its Atlas network. Facebook also provides publishers with a piece of code, called Facebook Pixel, that they (and by extension, Facebook) can use to log their Facebook-using visitors. more

Banksy Spy Art Destroyed

This famous Banksy artwork showing "snooping" in Cheltenham has been removed. 

Spy Booth depicts three 1950s-style agents, wearing brown trench coats and trilby hats, using devices to tap into conversations at a telephone box.

On April 13, 2014 the mural first appeared on the house in Fairview Road, Cheltenham.

The graffiti street art - which highlights the issue of Government surveillance - is located on the Grade II listed building near GCHQ, where the UK's surveillance network is based.

Spy Booth was granted listed status by Cheltenham Borough Council but the house itself has been put up for sale in January this year.

A social media post yesterday appeared to show the mural being cut down behind a tarpaulin. more

Sunday, August 21, 2016

TSCM Find: Bug Discovered in Hotel Meeting Room Used by New Zealand Rugby Team

New Zealand Rugby says a Sydney hotel room where the All Blacks held meetings was bugged before their first Bledisloe Cup match against Australia.

The New Zealand Herald reported that a "sophisticated" listening device found on Monday had been hidden in a chair...

The paper reported that hiding the bug "was a highly skilled and meticulous act and whoever put it there would have needed a significant amount of time to have pulled off such an accomplished job".

Indications are that the device was working and would have transmitted conversations about the All Blacks' strategy for Saturday's match. more

The Herald understands the foam of the seat appeared to have been deliberately and carefully cut to make way for the device and then sewn or glued back together to be almost undetectable. more

It Just Got Harder to Spy on Your Spouse Online

Joseph Zhang became suspicious of his wife Catherine’s online activities, so he installed software called WebWatcher on their home computer in Ohio to track her. The fallout was not just a divorce, but a landmark court ruling that could have long-term implications for both users and makers of so-called spyware.

According to an appeals court in Cincinnati, the maker of the spyware used by Zhang violated federal and state wire-tapping laws by intercepting the messages of a Florida man, Javier Luis, who had been communicating with Catherine in an America Online chatroom called “Metaphysics.”

The legal case begin in 2010 not long after Zhang used messages captured with the spyware to obtain leverage in divorce proceedings, even though a court said the relationship between his wife and Luis was “apparently platonic.” more

Man Charged with Eavesdropping on Family

NY - A Bloomingburg man was charged Thursday with eavesdropping on family members. 

State police said their investigation found that Joseph Codi, 33, of Bloomingburg, used a hidden electronic monitor to overhear conversations between other family members without their consent or knowledge for more than a month.

Codi was charged with eavesdropping, a felony. He was arraigned before Mamakating Town Justice Cynthia Dolan and released on his own recognizance, pending further court action. more

Friday, August 19, 2016

Privacy Guidebook for Eavesdropping on Americans Draws Flack

A privacy update to 1982 Defense Department rules for conducting surveillance on Americans contains a loophole...

that lets the National Security Agency continue eavesdropping on a wide swath of online conversations, critics say.

"DOD Manual 5240.01: Procedures Governing the Conduct of DOD Intelligence Activities" was last issued when all email addresses could fit in a Parent Teacher Association-sized directory. The new rules reflect a shift in intelligence gathering from bugging an individual’s phone to netting communications in bulk from the global internet...

It remains to be seen, or unseen, how U.S. spies are following the new data-handling guidelines in practice when scanning networks. 

On Wednesday, Defense officials declined to comment on internet cable-tapping. more

The 10 Best Offbeat Spy Movies

You can see all the trailers here.

10. Casino Royale
9. Our Man Flint
8. The Man Who Knew Too Little
7. Burn After Reading
6. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
5. Spies Like Us
4. What’s Up, Tiger Lily?
3. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
2. Top Secret!
1. Spy

Enjoy the weekend! ~Kevin

Three Espionage Tests

Denmark - The EspionageTest is the name of a newly developed free online test designed to reveal whether businesses are vulnerable to industrial espionage.

“The test is designed to provide an immediate picture of a business’s strengths and weaknesses. It provides a picture of the business’s challenges and the areas that need strengthening. The test looks at digital security, employee behaviour, culture and physical security,” says Senior Consultant Christine J√łker Lohmann from the Confederation of Danish Industry who is a member of the project steering group.

Employee behaviour and technology are tested
The test, which has been financed by the Danish Industry Foundation and developed by the intelligence and security firm CERTA Intelligence & Security, requires businesses to answer questions covering all areas of security and tests both technology and employee behaviour.

In each area, businesses will be told how they score in terms of security and will be given specific tips and recommendations on how to improve or develop suitable protection against espionage... more

The EspionageTest – Launching on 23 August 2016 – will be freely available to all Danish businesses.

...and, from another point-of-view, take these two tests to see if you would be good at espionage...

Espionage Spy Test #1
Espionage Spy Test #2

Video Camera Video

Tiny video cameras are fascinating...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spycam News: Gawker Smacks Down on Monday

Gawker, the best known part of Gawker Media, but apparently the least salvageable, will not be welcomed aboard the lifeboat that Univision has sent to the sinking company in the form of a $135 million bid for its assets. The site will cease publishing on Monday, according to a person familiar with the situation...

Gawker's nearly 14 years' worth of media-world scoops, amusing rants, gratuitous take-downs and occasional investigative gems will be archived, according to a memo company founder and Chief Executive Nick Denton sent to staffers Thursday announcing the site's closure.

"We have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing to take on," he wrote. "The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky. I can understand the caution. may, like Spy Magazine in its day, have a second act. For the moment, however, it will be mothballed, until the smoke clears and a new owner can be found."...

Gawker Media, which declared bankruptcy in June after losing an invasion-of-privacy suit brought by Hulk Hogan. A Florida jury awarded him $140 million in the case, which revolved around a sex tape of the wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, that Gawker published.  more