History of Innovations

Murray Associates TSCM Innovations Timeline

1978

• 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.

1980

Microlab Non Linear Junction Detector The US Government lifted secrecy and sales restrictions on the MicroLab/FXR Non Linear Junction Detector. Murray Associates was the first in the private sector to utilize this unusual instrument which detected bugs even if they were “off” or had dead batteries!

1987

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.

Tektronix 2710 with Boris Banenov

1988

1976 Laser Eavesdropping Listener Artist Concept Laser beam eavesdropping captures the media’s attention and cause our clients concern. In order to accurately assess the threat, Murray Associates built a laser beam eavesdropper. Our findings were very informative and put the threat into realistic perspective.

1989

Our client feedback system was established. From this date on, every assignment included a Quality Assurance Report card for the client. Our average Feedback Score is 9.4 out of a possible 10.

1992

X-BAND TRANSMITTER AD 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.

1997

Watkins Johnson & Tektronix Spectrum Analyzers 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™.

1999

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.

2000

Merlin Mid Infrared Thermal Imager Camera We begin experimenting with infrared thermal imaging technology in 1999. After a year of research, we purchased a $60,000.00 thermal imager and the Thermal Emissions Spectrum Analysis™ (TESA™) inspection technique is born.

2001

Wireless Local Area Networks become popular in many corporations and executive homes. So does inserting rogue wireless nodes into supposedly secure hard-wired systems. The threat… wireless wiretapping. Appropriate detection instrumentation is brought on board.

2002

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.

2003

At our clients’ request, Murray Associates established a local presence in the European Union and Oceania/Australasia.

2005

Sony Ultravilot Video Camera Sony releases the first price-practical ($6,000.) UV digital television camera. We experiment with bringing this major technical advancement into our field. Evidence of electronic eavesdropping installations are viewed and documented with reflected and absorbed ultraviolet light.

2006

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.

NJE-4000 NON-LINEAR JUNCTION DETECTOR

2007

Tektronix RSA 6114A Spectrum Analyzer We are the first in the private sector to invest ($109,000.00) in Real-Time Spectrum Analysis with DPX technology for our clients. DPX makes previously invisible bug signals visible.

2008

Talan Digital Telephone Analyzer 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.

2009

GSM Bug with a Quarter on Top 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.

2010

Eavesdropping Detection: Is My Cell Phone Bugged? by Kevin D. Murray

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.

2010

9kHz to 24 GHz Spectrum Analyzer • 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.

2011

• “Is My Cell Phone Bugged?: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Mobile Conversations Private” was officially released June 1st. It received excellent reviews at amazon.com, and now has its own web site.

• Development of a Closed Country Information Security Protocol for our clients.

2012

SpyWarn 2.0 Android App Is My Cell Phone Bugged?: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Mobile Conversations Private – becomes a spyware evaluation app for Android smartphones. SpyWarn 2.0 is available at Google Play.

2013

Electronic components continue to get smaller and standard non-linear junction detection was not keeping pace. When new technology became available, we were the first to offer its use to the private sector in the U.S.

ORION® 2.4 HX Non-Linear Junction Detector

2014

Spywarn Security Kit SW 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.

2015

Spycam Detection in Workplace Expectation of Privacy Areas 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.

2016

180º Photo of a Wheel Well. Murray Associates Case Photo. 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.)

2017

RSA306B USB Spectrum Analyzer Radio-frequency spectrum analysis technology advanced, and we kept pace. Three new Real-Time, DPX, Software Defined Surveillance Receivers (SDR) were added to our field kits.

2018

Conducted a 12-month evaluation of new remote Spyware Detection and Data Extraction instrumentation. Inspections could be conducted at client locations, or via sending smartphones, tablet or laptop devices via FedEx to our lab. Safe. Convenient. Private.

Black Swan Digital Forensics

2019

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.

2020

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.

Backscatter X-ray Tests

2021

We added X-ray analysis to our detection capabilities. Suspicious items can be examined at our clients’ locations, or mailed to our office lab.

2022

We are working on it right now.

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