Can Countermeasures Keep Up to Combat Eavesdropping?
The fact that technology has evolved so rapidly means that we must not only develop technology countermeasures to detect the technical eavesdropping threat but more important, we must understand the technology that makes it work. As it stands now, the majority of eavesdropping devices are built overseas, mainly in China and have the same working methods, such as; they all require a power source and transmit a signal. So with that in mind, taking the first example of low-tech devices we need to do a few things:
- Understand carrier current if an AC power source
- Determine what type of signal is transmitting into “free-space”
- Medium Eavesdropping Technology
Technology that we classify as “growing” technology is more geared to digital signals with burst transmissions and cellular based technology. In other words, the signals are scrambled and in many cases work off of what’s known as frequency hopping. According to Wikipedia,
“A spread-spectrum transmission offers three main advantages over a fixed-frequency transmission:
- Spread-spectrum signals are highly resistant to narrow-band interference. The process of re-collecting a spread signal spreads out the interfering signal, causing it to recede into the background.
- Spread-spectrum signals are difficult to intercept. A spread-spectrum signal may simply appear as an increase in the background noise to a narrow band receiver. An eavesdropper may have difficulty intercepting a transmission in real-time if the random sequence is not known.
Spread-spectrum transmissions can share a frequency band with many types of conventional transmissions with minimal interference. The spread-spectrum signals add minimal noise to the narrow-frequency communications, and vice versa. As a result, bandwidth can be used more efficiently.” The above can be thrown into the classification of GSM Bugging devices. These types of devices are flooding the market and can be used as an eavesdropping audio device but also as GPS trackers and Video. The eavesdropper uses the GSM technology to receive data. In simple terms, think of a very small cell phone that only performs a few tasks;
- Transmits data
- Transmits location
- Transmits video
Then the final risk is government grade technology. Whatever the case, low, medium, or high risk eavesdropping technology, only a skilled TSCM Services company, like TSCM America<sup>®</sup>can detect, locate, and remove the threat. We have written many articles on so-called “bug detectors” that are sold over the internet and spy shops. We can’t stress it enough, these are a waste of money and do not work. The majority beep or buzz to RF signals but understand, RF is everywhere, your cell phones, your Wi-Fi, household items, radio station frequencies, and the list goes on. Only a trained TSCM technician with the highest rated technical equipment can identify, detect, and more important, locate an eavesdropping threat.