How much bugging and unauthorised surveillance occurs?

The covert nature of unauthorised surveillance and bugging makes predicting the scale quite difficult. A successful covert surveillance operation if executed correctly will leave no trace of the activity having taken place.

This makes it difficult to make an accurate prediction of how much electronic eavesdropping and industrial espionage takes place. However, The CSI/FBI publishes an industry recognised survey on computer crime.

Evidence of covert surveillance

The survey, based on feedback from over 500 clients from various sectors, shows a high increase in losses arising from information theft and financial fraud. It’s worth noting that whilst 80% of respondents acknowledged losses, only 44% could quantify or identify the source of the loss. In many cases, electronic eavesdropping and technical attack would have been used to steal information.

In addition, the BBC published details of industrial espionage after an Israeli police investigation into a group of companies suspected of using a sophisticated computer virus to spy on rivals. This case has shed new light on the shadowy world of industrial espionage.

BBC News and other news broadcasters have also uncovered recent examples of alleged unauthorised corporate surveillance, in which the spymaster’s target has often been the company boardroom.

Through our TSCM (bug sweeping) operations, QCC have found evidence of current or past eavesdropping activity on average 1 in 10 times during new reactive inspections. This however reflects our global client base and is higher in some countries that others. However since 2005 we have found a very steady increase in the instances of electronic eavesdropping devices being discovered during operations.

Surveillance devices

The UK market in electronic eavesdropping devices; either radio, GSM, hardwired or utilising telephone systems, and keystroke loggers is very lucrative and quite legal and has increased massively in the last few years.

Shops and mail order companies supplying this type of equipment occupy prime sites with high overheads and large advertising budgets. They sell a high volume of this type of eavesdropping equipment as a primary business.

If this type of equipment is being sold, logic dictates that it is out there being used.

If you are concerned that you are a victim of unauthorised surveillance contact a professional counter surveillance company like QCC Global for advice and assistance.