Industrial espionage incorporates theft, misappropriation, wrongful receipt or transfer of proprietary economic information for the purpose of personal financial gain, competitive advantage, blackmail or military advantage. It can also include product tampering and market place terrorism. The cost to industry in Australia is impossible to determine, as corporations are reluctant to publicise the details of such incidents. In the United States of America recent estimates vary from $1.7 billion per year, due to loss of confidential pricing data, manufacturing processes, product and specification data, to an estimated $100 billion per year in total losses due to industrial espionage.
The term eavesdropping generally includes both wiretapping and ‘bugging’. Eavesdropping by wiretapping is the interception of communications over a wire without the consent of the participants and requires physical entry into the communication circuit. Eavesdropping by “bugging” is the interception of communications without the consent of the participants by means of electronic listening devices and without penetration of a wire. A common generic term used to refer to both wiretapping and bugging is ‘electronic surveillance’, although this term is more frequently used when referring to bugging.
Depending on the bugging method, the quality of intercepted material can be exceptionally reliable. Other methods are dependent on information being relayed second or third hand with the possibility of it having been corrupted.
Available micro-technology and the high stakes in industrial espionage mean that the market exists for smaller and more undetectable bugs.
The FBIS Technical Counter Measure Sweeps [TCMS] are comprehensive and include a physical search, scans for signals of radiated frequency and a check of phone, data and 240V AC cabling for signals or electronic changes due to attachment of any devices.
FBIS is one of the few companies in Australia that has the technological capacity and the experience to detect the majority of the bugs available and utilised in Australia today.