By Ralph D. Thomas
By today's standards, anyone with $500.00 worth of countermeasures equipment and a quick-read through the manuals of low-end and medium-end countermeasures gear are calling themselves countermeasures professionals. Although much of this sort of low level threat analysis is fine for domestic situations, real countermeasures 101 requires a whole lot more than a quick-read of a low end to medium-end countermeasures manual and requires an investment well over several thousand dollars in equipment for starters. Conventional countermeasures levels have traditionally been defined in three levels (one, two and three). However, in more recent times, there seems to be a call for more details within these levels. Based on my experience, here is how I would define countermeasures levels and threat analysis:
Level zero is the level in which the client doesn't really need a countermeasures expert, what they really need is medical attention. Typical fee: $100.00 referral fee.
Level one countermeasures detects low-end wiretapping and bugging devices and will pick up most of the low-level domestic surveillance bugs and wiretaps and some low level industrial eavesdropping equipment. Typical fee: $200.00/$500.00
Level 1.5 countermeasures is a step above level one in that it uses equipment other than $198.00 bug testing equipment and a quick-read of the countermeasures manual. It picks up medium level domestic eavesdropping equipment and SOME medium end industrial spying equipment. Typical fee: $500.00/$1,000
Level two countermeasures is where the minimum level of the real professional countermeasures person starts. It requires a modest investment in equipment of around $5,000 to $10,000 and requires extensive knowledge and training. Level two picks up all of the levels above plus some of the medium to high end industrial intelligence eavesdropping. Typical fee: $1,000 to $2,000.
Level 2.5 is a HUGE step above level 2 and involves extensive training, knowledge and equipment investment in the range of $10,000 plus. Level 2.5 picks up almost all levels up to level two and will pick up some governmental bugging devises. Level 2.5 involves countermeasures prevention including consulting for various continuous-use equipment such as computer communications security, voice scrambling, digital encryption, paper shredding and a complete communications security program. Typical fee: $1,500 to $5,000.
SECURITY PROGRAM AT LEVEL 2.5
Level 2.5 involves more than just sweeping an office building for bugs and wiretaps. It could involve consulting for digital computer security, voice and email encryption, continous line monitors, fax scrambling, and helping the client secure communications on an ongoing bases.
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Level three countermeasures requires years of extensive and ongoing training and an investment upwards of $500,000 in equipment. Most countermeasures services in the level three rating are former intelligence agents and utilize van loads of equipment to conduct their jobs. This level will detect almost all forms of eavesdropping including ultra-high end eavesdropping equipment placed by governments for spying on other governments. The overwhelming majority of level three countermeasures professionals work for either military intelligence or federal agencies. It requires full time dedication to countermeasures and TSCM knowledge. There are only a handful of them in the private sector and the market for this level of counter-intelligence usually involves consulting and working with high-grade security departments of very large high tech corporations. Typical fee: $5,000 plus.
As you can see, there is a huge gap between level 1 and level 2.5 and the problem with countermeasures is several two fold:
CLIENTS WHO ARE NOT WILLING TO PAY FOR LEVEL THEY NEED
Although level one service provide some low-level protection, it's not the right choice for commercial, industrial and professnioal use. As the potential overall damage for information leakage goes up, so should the level of protection as the value of the information that must be protected and secured is directly related to the level of protection. A client who is getting level one services, misses information leakage above level one.
Many times, a client is just not willing to pay for the proper protection of their information. Many times, the level of information security they come to find they need is after a suspected leaking problem occurs. The solution to the problem as a professional becomes to set down and explain the level of communications security to the client.
PRACTICING PROFESSIONAL WHO IS NOT HONEST ABOUT THE LEVEL OF COMMUICATIONS SECURITY THE CLIENT IS RECIEVING
Because of either ignorance or outright fraud, there seems to be massive numbers of people in the market place who will do countermeasures sweeps who misrepresent the level of communications security they provide. Cut-rate prices in the countermeasures security business does just not exist. Level two and above countermeasure jobs are extremely time consuming and tedious requiring a certain degree of knowledge, training and equipment investment above the five hundred dollar bug sweeping kit special and the quick-read of the user manual. Many of the people who offer such services in the market place do so out of ignorance and have been mislead by sellers of such equipment who tend to make them believe that they are providing a level of protection that they are not.
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES ON COUNTERMEASURES
GO TO COUNTERMEASURES INFORMATION
THREAT LEVEL ARTICLE
GO TO COUNTER MEASURES EQUIPMENT MENU
GO THE THE COUNTERMEASURES AND PRIVACY RESOURCE CENTER
OTHER RELATED PAGES
Books, Manuals And Training
TSCM BIBLE: The Countermeasures Cookbook
Wiretap Detection Techniques
Other Books And Manuals On Countermeasures
Books On Privacy
One Day Workshop On Countermeasures
Telephone Privacy Continous Use Gear
ComSec Telephone Privacy Monitor
Telcom Security Unit
TE-4200 Telephone Analyzer
Phonesafe Continuous Phone Monitor
SAVE MONEY! Combination Specials
Foxhound Bug Detector And Tap Trap Combo Special
RapidTecMultiFunction Bug Detector & Tap Trap
LevTec State-Of-The Art Detector With Free Tap Trap
Professional TSCM Testing Gear And Kits
The State-Of-The Art CPM 700
CSR-1 High EndCountermeasures Kit
CMS Professional Countermeasures Kit
The Oscor: Omni Spectral Correlator
The Advanced Countermeasres System
Sound Masking & Audio Jamming
The Audio Jammer
Portable TSCM Noise Generator
Acoustic Noise Generator
Scrambling And Encryption Equipment
Portable Telephone Scramblers
Fax Transmission Scrambler
The Modem Sentury
Other TSCM Gear
The Metal Tec 1200
UV Security Marking Pen & UV Light
Tone Generator And Line Probe
Video Camera Detector
Long Play Tape Recorders
Video Camera Equipment
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