• Murray Associates was the first TSCM firm with a published Operating Policy, and fixed Fee and Expense Schedule. Before this, practitioners either charged using unpredictable hourly fees, or flat-rates based on how much they thought they could charge. Some still do.
• We were also the first TSCM firm with a polygraph policy, to combat the “plant a bug, grow more work” mentality which was rampant at the time. Upon our discovery of bugging, wiretapping, or other forms of eavesdropping, clients have always had the right to verify our findings.
Miniature television cameras with AM micro-transmitters (900 MHz frequency range) became a major threat. Murray Associates was the first countermeasures firm to purchase a spectrum analyzer (Tektronix 2710) capable of receiving and viewing these TV signals.
We discover a small company selling 10 GHz transmitter kits for $29. Incredibly, the plans for adding FM audio capabilities and turning it into a bug cost only $2 more. Inspection of radio frequencies above 1.8 GHz was rare at the time. We immediately boosted our audit capabilities and alerted our clients.
Miniature television cameras with FM microtransmitters (2.4 GHz frequency range) become a major threat. Most “countermeasures” equipment at the time couldn’t see these signals. Drawing together various technologies, Murray Associates created a system that was the next step in the evolution of spectrum analysis – Radio-Reconnaissance Spectrum Analysis™.
New digital telephone systems are vulnerable to digital wiretaps and feature manipulation. Murray Associates develops a FFT technique to help detect these problems. Also in 1999, Spybusters.com the initial Murray Associates website becomes the first Internet site to honor eavesdropping history makers.
VoIP telephony becomes the rage, offering more affordable calls. While irresistible to clients, these services were vulnerable to wiretapping, denial of service attacks, and theft of services. Murray Associates was the first in our field to research this communications “advancement,” and provide our clients with a safe migration strategy.
At our clients’ request, Murray Associates established a local presence in the European Union and Oceania/Australasia.
Continuing research into new sensing instrumentation, we invested approximately $40,000.00 in government-level new NLJD instrumentation for our clients. One of the most exciting capabilities of the new equipment is their ability to “hear” video cameras hidden within objects like clocks, radios, furniture, ceilings, etc.
A new Multifunction Digital Telephone Analyzer, with VoIP capabilities, became available. We immediately upgraded, at a cost of $19,000.00. It combined the functions of multiple instruments into one unit. This made room for additional instrumentation in our kit and allowed the detection of digital voice leaks on phone lines.
GSM bugs began flooding the Internet ‘spy shops’ and eBay for as little as $25.00. They are very difficult to locate as they are dormant when not actively being listened to. In response to client’s concerns, Murray Associates developed Digital Surveillance Location Analysis™ (DSLA™) using modified instrumentation from AirPatrol Corporation.
Spyware on “smart” cell phones hit critical mass this year. Clients and website visitors asked for a solution. What began as an executive briefing turned into a book – “Is My Cell Phone Bugged?: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Mobile Conversations Private” is released in early 2011.
• Our travel kit inspection capabilities were upgraded with the acquisition of a 50 kHz to 24 GHz spectrum analyzer.
• Murray Associates staff completed a law enforcement oriented cell phone forensics training course. The instructor was the Chief Detective in charge of the Pennsylvania State Police Digital Forensics Lab at the time.
• SpyWarn™ 2.0 the forensic spyware evaluation app for Android is publicly launched on Google Play.
• This is quickly followed by the SpyWarn™ Anti-Spyware Kit for Smartphones. This security hardware is exclusively available to Murray Associates clients, free of charge.
• Bugging becomes a concern at cryptocurrency offices and data centers. We developed specialized TSCM procedures for our clients.
Video voyeurism using covert spycams has become a serious problem. It is affecting individuals and organizations alike. At the request of one of their Fortune 100 clients, Murray Associates created a Spycam Detection training course. The course provides the security training necessary to detect video voyeurism at any location where there is an expectation of privacy. It is also available to businesses and individuals at Udemy.com as a self-paced, instructional video training course.
We introduced 360º degree photographic documentation of the sensitive areas we inspect as part of our electronic surveillance detection (TSCM) protocol. This assures we will detect subtle changes or additions during re-inspections. (Photo – Inspection of limousine wheel well.)
Our client asked us to manage eight TSCM inspections… all at different locations (some international), same day, same time, and repeated every week for three weeks. Our excellent network of associates handled it flawlessly.
A new technology, Backscatter X-ray, is being deployed by U.S. Customs as a drug and money detection aid. We field tested this instrument to see if we could use it to help our clients. As amazing as the technology is, we found the screen resolution needed improvement for our purposes. We will keep our eye on it.
• New types of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth instrumentation were added to our detection capabilities.
• We evaluated new technologies to discover their eavesdropping potentials (Bluetooth stethoscope and Flipper Zero). The result, we developed new detection insights and protocols, now part of our inspection process.
We are working on it right now!