Bugs & Telephone Taps

For more information on debugging sweeps visit us at
The ProblemMore and more each day competitors, ex-associates, new start-up ventures, and unscrupulous individuals are using electronic eavesdropping as a way to gather information that could seriously damage your business.
“Bugs” telephone taps and video transmitters (above) are readily available that can compromise your business secrets for as little as $30.00. The manufacture, sale, installation, and monitoring of these devices is a multi-billion dollar industry in North America.
Unless you are a law enforcement agency with an Order or Warrant for a wire tap, it is a criminal offence to record the conversations of two or more persons without their consent.
How Do You Know If You’re Bugged ?

Confidential information seems to be getting out to competitors.

Competitors seem to be just one step ahead all of the time.

Your office was broken into yet very little or nothing was taken.

Sockets or switches show signs of being moved slightly, ie: the wallpaper may be disturbed.

Vehicles parked near to your premises, that appear to be empty.

Your telephone rings but no one speaks or you just hear a short tone.

Unusual sounds (crackling, clicks, volume changes) on your telephone handset.

Indications that your handset may have been exchanged, ie: numbers in memory may be lost.

Repairers or utility companies turn up to carry out work when they have not been called.

Furniture or items appear to have been disturbed.

Interference on your radio or television.

Unexplained brick or plaster dust on floor.

Kevin Bousquet Looking & Listening for RF Devices

The RF Sweep & Spectrum Analysis

The most commonly and widely used of all the devices is the RF (Radio Frequency) transmitter bug. These devices are inexpensive easy to use and require no specialized receiving equipment a simple AM or FM radio can be used to monitor the bug. Due to their low cost, there is very little incentive to recover these devices once planted.

The Spectrum Analysis (photo above) we use to detect RF devices is capable of monitoring frequencies up to 36 Gigaherts. This will also include very low frequency (VLF) devices which transmit on frequencies down to 15 Kilohertz.

Sam Labella Listening for Devices through the Power Lines

Power Line Analysis – Hard Wire Bugs

The next method is often known as the “wire tap” or a “hard wire bug”. The wiretap will use any existing wiring in the home or office ie: the electrical plugs (see photo above), alarm systems or even the telephone wiring. This is similar a typical baby monitor situation where you plug the transmitter into one room and the receiver in the other.

Many think that telephones are only a security risk when being used but a simple modification to the handset can leave the microphone connected, even when the phone is not in use.

Telephone System/Line Analysis

Wired and wireless transmitters must be physically connected to the line before they will do any good. Once a wireless tap is connected to the line, it can transmit all conversations over a limited reception range. Wired taps, on the other hand, need no power source, but a wire must run from the line to the listener or to a transmitter.

An ‘Infinity Transmitter’ or ‘Harmonica Bug’ must be installed inside the phone. When someone calls the tapped phone it rings, blows a whistle over the line, and the transmitter picks up the phone via a relay. The mike on the phone is activated so that the caller can hear all of the conversations in the room.

The telephone line analyzing equipment used during the sweep (photo above) is capable of determining illegal taps, defective phones, room listening devices, splices, VLF devices, infinity triggered devices, and selectively targeted phones in situations where a tap has been placed in a wire closet or a telephone room.

A signal is generated from your phone right to the Bell Canada Phone Centre (or the main phone centre of your particular State or Province). The purpose is to evaluate the current in the line and to discover if any device has been placed on the line that might be causing a drop in the current.

Toronto Real Estate News.June 1, 1990
Globe and Mail.February 13, 1990.
The Financial Post.June 4, 1990.
For more information on debugging sweeps visit us at http://www.corpa.com

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