How to Find Out About Wiretap

Are you interested in ways of eavesdropping devices detection? First you need to know which warning signals may point to installation of listening devices in the room.

Wiretapping options are today as wide as the selection of goods in the supermarket. Wiretaps and bugs can be placed in cars, indoors, there are even some that can be controlled remotely.

In daily use, there are no visible warning signals, therefore you cannot really tell if your cell phone is bugged or if there’s someone listening through GSM.

Some wiretaps can be installed very smoothly, so there are no indicators at the first sight, which is why it is necessary to regularly check against wiretap. Searching for bugs is the only reliable protection against wiretapping. By detection of eavesdropping devices, you prevent leaks and misuse of information that installed bugs lead to.

Warning signals

Where to look for wiretap?

Our clients often ask, where to look for wiretap, what are the most common places of hiding and how to detect them without outside and professional help.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. The key is to understand the mind of the installer. Who is he? Is there a potential danger from a subcontractor, competition, employees or someone else? What kind of information would they seek? Is your information worth their efforts? We usually talk about two types of wiretap – amateurish and professional.

Amateurish wiretap

This kind of wiretap is the most common when talking about family relations, relationships at the work place or people with limited finances and lack of technical knowledge. They usually use common commercial products that are available on online e-shops.

This wiretap is normally found in electricity-connected items. Frequently in an extension cord, an adaptor or a splitting cable. The advantage is continuous power supply, therefore long run.

Another type of low-end wiretaps could be found in office supplies – pencils, calculators, clocks. This kind of wiretap is less advantageous, because it depends on battery life. It is used in case of short wiretapping, primarily negotiations.

When looking for these kinds of wiretaps, we can rely on a low variability of individual devices in daily-used items. There’s going to be a pattern of similarity of clocks, watches, pens, calculators etc., which makes it easier to uncover them in the first place. However, a wiretap in a splitting cable is not so easy to find, because we need to focus on possible radio or thermal emission.

Professional wiretap

More sophisticated methods of wiretap are implemented in case of market competition or high value of your information. The entire action (including choice of a specific listening device and its discreet installation) usually shields a specialized agency that presents itself as detective, because it is not legal to install wiretaps.

The attacker then breaks into the offices without setting off alarm or damaging doors, photoshoots the interior and evaluates possibilities of interception. Tailored wiretap is then installed inside, often into furniture, electronics (alarm, air-conditioning control, smoke detector), fake floors and ceilings, IP phones etc. Wiretap of a fixed line could be also executed by bugging ISDN switchboard in the building.

Again, this depends on the financial means and the degree of professionalism. It is not at all uncommon that a laser wiretap is used, mostly because it is untraceable. If the value of the information is very high, IMSI Catcher usage occurs (in the Czech Rep. known as Agáta), which is BTS pretending to be a BTS of a mobile operator – it is able to redirect the flow in its reach to its own HW and SW. This way the Man in The Middle attack occurs. In this case, your phone and individual calls can be listened to.

To answer the initial question – where to look for wiretaps? We can basically say that laic has a very little chance of finding a wiretap. It is only likely if the attacker uses unadvanced and commercial means and installs them inaptly. But even commonly used wiretaps can be difficult to find without high-quality technology.