Thursday, May 13, 2010

De-bugging a conference room

A well-known NYC corporation contacted Sherlock Investigations to conduct a security check on their conference room because they were concerned that company secrets were being leaking.

I arrived for my appointment early and waited in the conference room. I quickly observed several “no-no’s.” First among them was the four speakers from which music was being piped. Speakers have the same features as microphones. It would be necessary to disconnect the speakers.

In the center of the table was a speakerphone used for conference calls. My plan was to check it thoroughly for wiretaps.

There were enormous windows overlooking Manhattan. Great view, but a laser could be aimed at those windows which would be able to pick up conversations around the conference table. Glass can act as a diaphragm such as are in microphones. Heavy curtains would have to be installed that could be drawn shut during meetings. They would also help to absorb the sound in the room.

Of course, I would have the conference room completely swept for electronic bugs. Every bug has to have a power source. It is common today to have a bug wired directly into the building’s power source. Usually, an electronic bug is placed in a wall outlet or in a lamp.

Unfortunately, employees are often the source of leaks. I would recommend that those attending meetings not bring their cell phones in to the conference room. The employees might not even knowingly be the source of the leak, but their cell phones might have been compromised. Cell phones can be used as listening devices.

You can purchase white-noise machines which do a fairly good job at masking voices, too. Some buy cellphone blockers, which are illegal in the United States.

A more elaborate security step would be to build a Faraday cage (a copper wire-enclosed room) or paint the room with RF shielding paint which is quite an expensive undertaking.

If you have any questions or need a sweep, contact me.

1 comment:

Security Guard Insurance said...

Wow, very informative post. Great tips for protecting information.