What is a TSCM Bug Sweep?

When we suspect that our privacy has been violated in a nefarious way, finding comfort or peace of mind can be very difficult.

Knowledge & Awareness is critical to building a secure environment

A TSCM Bug Sweep is "The systematic physical and electronic examination of a designated area by properly trained TSCM Investigators in an attempt to discover electronic eavesdropping devices, security hazards or security weaknesses."

GBI Investigators specialize in Detecting and Revealing Corporate Espionage and Eavesdropping Technology We are trained and licensed to provide Corporate TSCM Bug Sweep Services at 2022 TSCM Standards.

Contact us today for a 2022 Security Analysis

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What is a Bug Sweep?

A Technical Security Countermeasures (TSCM) sweep has several components

  • Physical inspection of the entire search zone
  • Rf spectrum sweep and analysis of all radio frequencies
  • Enhanced electronic search of the entire zone
  • Identification of physical security weaknesses

A TSCM bug sweep services are very conspicuous, schedule during off hours or weekends

GBI TSCM Sweep Services

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A Bug Sweep provides "Peace of Mind"

Technology is constantly evolving and 2022 is no exception. The technical aspects of Eavesdropping, (audio, video, cell phones, computer spy ware and GPS devices), has grown and these devices and methodologies are becoming easier, cheaper and better.

Only you know if you have reason to believe whether someone is listening or watching, and if you think they are, then they probably are. Technical Surveillance Countermeasures or TSCM, is also known by the reference of "Bug Sweeps," and the more modern name of Electronic Eavesdropping Detection or EED. We are Certified Specialists in the detection and location of eavesdropping devices.

Our "Corporate TSCM Bug Sweep" team can ensure your office, exhibit space, meeting rooms, or hotel suite is clean and safe of hidden microphones, video cameras and tape recorders.

In Minnesota as in most states, you need to be a licensed Private Investigator to provide corporate bug sweep services. We are licensed to do so, which allows us to do compete consulting work while protecting your interests. We operate the latest REI counter-eavesdropping equipment and can ensure complete confidentiality.

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Bug sweep services cost

Several considerations go into price estimating a business bug sweep an industrial bug sweep or a residential bug sweep and can vary greatly from site to site. Some of the conditions that affect pricing include, but are not limited to:

  • Nature of the threat: Whom is suspected of eavesdropping?
  • Age of the Structure: Is it New or Old construction?
  • Type of Construction: Business or Residential?
  • How big are the spaces: High Ceilings with clean cubicles or small offices packed with electronics?
  • Network and Communications: Is cabling installed cleanly or is old wiring bundled in the ceiling?
  • Accessibility and Clutter: Is the space consumed by clutter, such as stacks of paper, furniture, toys, etc…?
  • Square Footage: How big is the space?

Type of construction, clutter factor and square footage of a site have the greatest impact on price.

Costs can range from as high as $2.00 sq/ft to just under $1.00 sq/ft depending upon many of the conditions listed above.

Contacting a bug sweep services near you may be a bit uncomfortable, sometimes articulating concerns about eavesdropping and espionage can be difficult. Professional bug sweeping services should understand this and be able to explain the process, the timeline and what cost you should expect.

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Countermeasures Team

The GBI Countermeasures team is trained to the same specifications and employs the same techniques used by government agencies. We use state of the art equipment, the OSCOR by REI, a spectrum analyzer, as well as much much more.

As of 2022, we've completed hundreds of corporate bug sweeps, briefed thousands of personnel and can come to your place of business, perform a vulnerability analysis, and professionally brief your employees, educating your staff about what to look for and how to respond.

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TSCM Team Methodology

The GBI team has been providing Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) services for over 15 years and have, over time and tested experience developed a complete and thorough method for sweeping a space both physically and electronically.

Scanning for RF signals is only one part of an effective TSCM sweep, a physical inspection of ceiling spaces, walls, outlets, IT & TELCO equipment as well as any conditions that may be present due to architectural or production floor features.

We will visit your site to establish the physical construction of your space, the scope of your needs and provide a proposal based upon what we learn.

Corporate Espionage Series (CES)

CES provides easy steps to better protect your organizations privacy

Download PDF Brochure

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Intuition is the result of experience and training

A good investigator must:

  • Be perceptive about people
  • Be able to work well with others under difficult conditions
  • Be able to distinguish between essentials and non-essentials
  • Possess inquisitiveness
  • Have a large amount of ingenuity
  • Pay appropriate attention to detail
  • Be able to express ideas clearly, briefly and interesting
  • Learn when to keep you mouth shut
  • Demonstrate empathy to another persons situation or perspective
  • Open-mindedness and flexability are important qualities
  • Must not be over ambitious or anxious for personal reward

What to expect from a Bug Sweep

Security is not always at the top of a business’s concerns until it is.

Security issues such as the need to protect intellectual property, ensure confidentiality, protect trade secrets, mitigate improper disclosure of processes and techniques, inhibit interference from current and former employees or competitors and many other human driven actions that can shake an organization to its core.

Corporate eavesdropping, industrial espionage or even personal sabotage are only a few of the reasons one party will choose to nefariously eavesdrop upon another. When an apparent leak of information seems probable, several layers of security come into play. Situational awareness should be assessed, and questions asked:

  • Is staff trained in security procedures and are they practiced?
  • Is security maintained at all entry points?
  • Are logs taken and visitor ID’s issued?
  • Are service providers and vendors supervised during visits?
  • When equipment, furniture, artwork, supplies, and gifts arrive, are they inspected?
  • Consider employee turnover, are there any recent departures that know confidential information that may be disgruntled or seeking employment at a competitor?

These are the most obvious questions to ask although each organization has its own unique security profile which is enforced in various degrees of intensity.

When incidents occur that lead a potential victim to the conclusion that their security has been compromised, an organization will tend to have one chance to get the response right.

If an information breach has been detected, several steps must be taken to ensure that the impact of the breach does not cascade into a loss that will be difficult, if not impossible, from which to recover. Initial actions often determine whether the outcome is manageable, or chaotic and destructive. Having a predetermined plan is critical to avoiding those mistakes and mitigating damage.

A Technical Surveillance Countermeasures sweep (TSCM) may be necessary to ensure that the organizations physical security has not already been compromised. Colloquially known as an “Electronic Bug Sweep” or a “Sweep for Bugs”, the process is very regimented and conducted by a trained TSCM Investigator. “Technical Surveillance” is the use of electronic equipment to obtain information. The TSCM investigators will sweep for listening devices and sweep for hidden cameras as part of their comprehensive Radio Frequency and physical inspection of the entire site.

Professional bug sweeping services do not just wave an antenna wand around and declare that a site is free from “Bug Surveillance”

Bug sweep detection services use very expensive equipment and while a person can purchase a “bug sweeping device” from the internet and call themselves a “Professional Bug Sweeper”, in fact, providing “surveillance and counter surveillance” is work that must be done by a licensed private investigator. An investigation will usually be conducted in layers.

Client Interview and Walkthrough

As with all investigations, an in-depth interview with the client to establish an understanding of the threat is preferred. Each investigation is unique to every client, knowing how they are being affected is critical to a successful bug sweep.

A residential bug sweep will differ greatly from a commercial or industrial TSCM investigation. While the urgency is the same, the amount of electronics (Electronic Density) is much higher in a business than inside a home or apartment, furthermore in most instances the techniques used to build such structures are vastly different.

A timely walkthrough prior to the sweep is advantageous to the planned sweep as this process will an opportunity for the investigator to lay eyes on the site and set accurate price expectations

Physical Search and Hands on Inspection

Investigators conduct a physical search of all tables, chairs, desks, cabinets, lighting, and furniture and do hands on inspections of all electrical equipment, outlets, switches, lighting, PBX, LAN, and WAN connections for VLF/RF devices.

Physically searching the site allows the investigator to see anything that may be strange, out of place or show evidence of having been recently handled. The physical search provides investigators the opportunity to document and make tamper resistant the equipment, artwork, fixtures and furniture in each room.

Radio Frequency Analysis

Counter-surveillance companies, companies that sweep for listening devices, use a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures device known as a Spectrum Analyzer which serves as the backbone for a team’s electronic bug detection services. This bug sweeping device is used with other tools such as the REI ANDRE which is used to pinpoint bugs and transmitting electronics.

Our team uses the ANDRE to scan the RF spectrum. It’s a hand-held broadband receiver that detects and assists in locating nearby RF, infrared, visible light, carrier current and other types of transmitters.

These and many other electronic instruments are used to validate and verify signals when they are detected throughout the electronic spectrum as high as 24Ghz.

Visual and Camera Analysis

FLIR or “Forward Looking Infra-Red” is a bug sweep detection device that allows the team to locate any heat sources that may be hidden or installed behind walls. A borescope or “Snake Cam” is used to look inside walls, vents, and small spaces.

“Spy Finder” is a bug sweeping device that uses infra-red light to illuminate the lens of a camera. The GBI team uses this device in every space we inspect. This tool allows us to inspect any suspect interior feature, such as ventilation ducts, light fixtures, fire suppression systems, motion & shatter detectors.

Vehicle Sweeps

Critical discussions are routinely held in Cars, Yachts, and Jets. If a threat intends to track you and record these conversations, your vehicle is a target. It is very easy to install devices into motor vehicles, corporate cars, limousines, yachts, or private jets.

A wide selection of miniature GPS trackers and listening devices are available online on websites like Alibaba, Amazon and EBay as are many cheap bug sweeping device. The instructions are easy to follow and once installed, can cost you your privacy.

A vehicle bug sweep requires broad vehicular/mechanical insight and exceptionally sensitive equipment that will detect the tiny near-field signals that will be missed by cheap bug detectors. A car bug sweep, boat bug sweep, or airplane bug sweep must consider that the install site is mobile so accessibility can be an issue for both the person eavesdropping and the private investigator bug sweep.

What is a Bug Sweep

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Know what to expect from a Corporate Bug Sweep

Glen Bass Investigations explains on a Point-by-Point basis what to expect from corporate and residential TSCM bug sweeps

Ensuring that your confidential conversations are not being eavesdropped upon is fundamental to maintaining many organizations competitive edge.

Regular TSCM Bug Sweeps play a critical role in an organizations security...

On an individual level our privacy is of utmost importance: Identity security, reputation management, difficult divorces and family tensions...

People do things and act in ways that we never expect.

Glen Bass Investigations [GBI] specializes in TSCM Bug Sweeps for Corporate, Industrial and Residential properties. Contact us to learn more today.

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