X-ray Analysis – Top Level Assurance
X-ray analysis during TSCM inspections offers the most assurance a room object isn’t bugged.
We don’t recommend this inspection service for everyone. Primary TSCM inspection techniques are excellent for most situations. But, when the stakes are high enough—and the opposition is sophisticated enough—a Murray Associates TSCM X-ray deep clean is the logical option.
There are also times when a TSCM X-ray deep clean is just smart due diligence.
Types of X-ray analysis services offered:
- On-site, when we are conducting a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) inspection for you.
- On-site, to inspect multiple new items entering your environment, such as new telephones, keyboards, computer mice, etc.
- Objects may also be mailed to us for X-ray analysis in our office lab. Contact us for details.
We can also apply discreet security seals to inspected objects. There is no additional charge for this. This your assurance the item hasn’t been tampered with after our inspection.
Here are some interesting examples of our X-ray analysis TSCM inspections. (Click images to enlarge.)
Desk calculators are some of the most often bugged office items. This one is a GSM cellular eavesdropping device. The eavesdropper can silently dial in and listen from any location, at will. Some bugged calculators will automatically dial the eavesdropper whenever they hear a sound. Many versions of the GSM calculator bug are being sold on the internet. See if yours looks like one of these. Just do a search for “GSM calculator bug”, or click here.
USB charging cables are now being sold with spying capabilities. Because they look identical to legitimate cables we inspect them during our TSCM inspections. We can teach you how to do it, too.
These two executive desk toys look identical from the outside. Both are fully functional and do exactly the same thing; shout random nasty phrases when the side button is pressed. The one on the right has an extra talent built into it. It is an eavesdropping radio transmitter.
Executive desk toys and gadgets populate many of the offices we visit. They make excellent hiding places for bugs; sometimes arriving as Trojan Horse gifts. An X-ray analysis can provide assurance that none of your toys are bugged.
What does a listening bug look like? Not like anything in particular.
As you can see, there are many ways in which normal, everyday devices can have all sorts of advanced tech and listening bugs inside. While an X-ray analysis is the best way to determine whether a given device may have a bug inside, at least without breaking the device open, you can still protect yourself against bugs and other listening devices even though there’s no standard look or type.
One of the most popular types of listening devices in use today are GSM bugs, which are basically glorified cell phones. And just like a phone, a listener can dial into the GSM bug and listen to a conversation from anywhere in the world. Most commonly found in black boxes and other purpose built devices that can easily be hidden from view, a GSM bug can be made into a clock, tissue box or even an inconspicuous power adapter.
Other types of listening devices can be simple miniature voice recorders that can be easily placed in a nook or cranny in the room. Since they’re so small, they can be placed out in the open among other items, or, if secrecy is important, they can even be built inside common devices such as alarm clocks, thermostats and smoke detectors.
That said, even the lowly mobile phone can act as a hidden listening device in a pinch. They can be configured to not ring or vibrate, nor show any indication that an incoming call is happening. And once the phone auto-answers, the caller would be able to clearly hear anyone within earshot of the phone.
Worse yet, some smartphone apps may open up your phone’s microphone for listening when you least expect it, and even something like X-ray analysis wouldn’t be able to show what’s actually happening under the hood in the software. It’s why it’s important to only download and install apps from companies you trust, and to periodically review your apps for changes that could end up jeopardizing your security.
Have a Question About TSCM?
If you have any questions about the Spectrum Analysis or the TSCM services provided by Murray Associates, simply fill out the form below, or call us from a safe area and phone.
If you think you are under active electronic surveillance, or believe you have discovered a bug or covert video camera, go to our Emergency TSCM page. The procedural checklist there will tell you exactly what you need to do next.