What is a Bug sweep?

A Bug sweep is the commonly used term to describe what is also called a Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures inspection, a TSCM inspection or a Counter-eavesdropping inspection. A bug sweep is the structured search of an area, room, vehicle, aircraft or yacht for bugs / eavesdropping devices using both technical bug sweep equipment and processes and physical bug sweep search processes.

How can I identify a professional Bug Sweep service ?

If you are looking to procure Bug sweep services you will find a very wide range of options available from private detectives, private investigators, general security companies and specialist TSCM companies. All of these TSCM providers will generally claim to offer the most advanced bug sweep capability available and promise the ability to detect all types of bug. Sadly the reality is that most of these bug sweep providers will have little or no ability to detect bugs because they will not have either the required TSCM equipment or the required bug sweep expertise to conduct a professional bug sweep. The equipment required to conduct a professional bug sweep is highly specialist and costs between £ 130,000 and £ 200,000 for one set. It also takes years of TSCM training plus hands on TSCM experience to become proficient as a TSCM engineer. This is because there are so many different types of bug which can be used and each works using a different technology to operate. The bug sweep therefore needs to be able to detect all of these different types of bug and each different type of bug requires a different TSCM process and TSCM equipment to find it, hence the high cost of a set of TSCM equipment and TSCM training.

Depending on where you would like a bug sweep conducted will also affect the cost of the bug sweep as the day rates charged in different countries do vary greatly globally. A London / UK based TSCM company will be charging significantly less per day than a New York / USA based TSCM company. This is not because the New York / USA based company provides a better service than the London / UK based company, it is just the way regional market prices have developed and no indication of service ability or quality.

The other issue with many bug sweep providers is that even if they do buy a reasonably good set of TSCM equipment to start with they will then need to operate an ongoing bug sweep research and development (R & D) capability to identify new bugging attack methods which are constantly being developed by the attackers and then keep updating their TSCM equipment, TSCM training and TSCM inspection processes to be able to detect these new bugs as well as all of the older types of eavesdropping attacks.

This bug sweep R & D capability requires a huge investment in TSCM man power, TSCM equipment, TSCM training and is financially very costly to maintain. This explains why only a few very specialist TSCM service providers can really claim to have anything approaching a truly high quality bug sweep capability capable of detecting most forms of eavesdropping. That said without this bug sweep R & D capability it is simply not possible for a TSCM service provider to keep its TSCM inspection service capability current and deliver high quality bug sweeps with confidence that they will detect all of the bugs they are looking for.

Top quality TSCM providers will therefore have:

  • A significant TSCM R & D capability
  • The most advanced TSCM equipment available
  • Highly trained specialist TSCM engineers
  • Consistent pricing

How does QCC compare at a glance:

  • QCC has the world largest commercial TSCM R & D capability
  • QCC have the most advanced TSCM equipment available including proprietary TSCM equipment only
  • All QCC TSCM engineers are trained under the world’s only accredited TSCM engineer training
  • QCC pricing is globally consistent

How does QCC’s Bug Sweep service compare ?

At QCC we set up our bug sweep R & D team and capability in 1996 which was 3 years prior to forming our company in 1999. You might wonder why we did this, well because we knew even back in 1996 that the first rule of quality service delivery is not to focus on setting up a company, but rather to fully understand the service prospective Clients are currently receiving, what service they really need and how to provide that.

Because QCC’s bug sweep R & D capability is the largest and most advanced commercial TSCM capability in the world, we can identify new eavesdropping attacks which no other bug sweep providers have knowledge of. We then purchase the latest TSCM equipment available to detect the new attacks or if the required equipment does not exist, we develop our own new TSCM equipment to detect the new threats.

We then develop the new TSCM inspection processes and implement these in our standard TSCM inspections so we are able to detect not just most bugs or some bugs but all eavesdropping attacked deployed against our Clients in the areas we are inspecting.

Each of QCC’s TSCM teams is equipped with around £ 200,000 of the most advanced TSCM equipment including equipment which QCC develops and which is not available to other TSCM companies.

QCC TSCM teams are trained in QCC’s inhouse accredited training programme, the same programme with which QCC also trains our government Clients TSCM teams.

QCC bug sweep pricing is consistent regardless of where the bug sweep is required so whether you need a bug sweep in London, New York, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Sydney, Amsterdam, Brussels, Singapore, Lagos or anywhere else you will be charged our highly competitive London price rate. This can often make it more cost effective to fly a QCC team from London / UK to New York to conduct a TSCM inspection than use a USA / New York based TSCM company.

For more information on the different bug sweep services QCC provides click here or to go to our contact page where important guidance on contacting us can be found.