Business Warnings

Theft of confidential information is costing companies millions of pounds every year. 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 has occurred. Confidential meetings and bids are very popular targets for corporate spies.

How would you like the plans for the corporate takeovers you are 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 are quoting for the same project?

Professional eavesdroppers often break into a target’s home or office and very rarely leave direct evidence of the break-in, however, occupants of the premises will often “pick up on something not being right” such as the furniture being moved slightly. You can be the victim of a burglary but nothing notable was taken.

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 reflective surface: Certain types of items have “just appeared” in your office but nobody seems to know how they got there.

Accepting gifts can be dangerous and 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, clock, radio, lamp, and so on that is given as a gift. That innocent gift that came in the post from the company you’ve always had gifts from may not be what you think it is.

Typical gift items to watch for and beware of are: clocks, exit signs, sprinkler heads, radios, picture frames and lamps.

Furniture has been moved slightly and no one knows why: Things “seem” to have been rummaged through but nothing is missing (at least that you noticed): This is when a professional team are applying illegal methods and using dummy vehicles to obtain the necessary information. 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 outage involves power, air conditioning, telephone, and even the occasional false fire alarm. These vehicles are commonly used as listening posts.

A very popular location for the installation of eavesdropping devices is either behind or inside furniture (a sofa, 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 lampshades. 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.

A “less than professional spy” will often rummage through a target’s 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.

Organising private meetings can sometimes be more effective when the location is changed at the final last few moments and all attendees are readdressed to a nearby suite or room near to the actual original designated office.

Mobile communications should be off and all handsets should be handed in to a designated staff member or attendees can take their battery out and lay the phone out in front of their chair or space. If you meet in an open and public space choose somewhere with a high degree of background noise and try and apply the same high levels of scrutiny you would normally.

It is not a good idea to meet in streets and parks or on public transport and this technique is only best served whilst you can be 100% certain you have not been followed.

If you suspect that you are being listened to call us and let us confirm or deny that process. Let us sweep the area beforehand.