Real world surveillance

by Marc

Bomb proof security film
A few people have commented to me that they’ve enjoyed the “Spy Stuff” section on coolest gadgets so I thought it would be interesting to have a look around and see what’s out there for use in the “real” world.

Bear in mind that some of this stuff is only sold to governments (and from the prices I’ve tracked down I know why too) but it’s still interesting to see what technology has managed to create for the world of surveillance and espionage.

To start with: the photo on this post… That’s Bomb Blast safety film to line windows and (hopefully) catch the glass in case of explosion, rather than letting it fragment all over the place. You can get this from Spymaster in London. They list lots of fun stuff on their website (like armoured landrovers) and I’ve walked past their shop a few times but I’ve never gone inside – it always looks like the kind of place you need an appointment to visit ;-)

Spymaster also sell a remarkably cheap “Escape mask” that seals around the neck and contains a filtration system designed to handle smoke, anthrax and other airbourne nasties. I hope I never have to test one of those…

I also came across various disguised bugging devices – calculators, briefcases, mobile phones, pens… it seems like anything can be a microphone these days.

Once upon a time fiber optic cameras were strictly confined to the realms of hollywood – now they’re yours for a mere $1000. You can get cameras integrated into cigarette packets too and there’s obviously a market for bulletproof cameras.

On the PC side of things there’s this interesting little keylogger that sits between the PC and keyboard logging every key press you make. Obviously you need physical access to the target system for this one, but there’s no better way of getting usernames and passwords.

And finally at the very top end of the scale you’ve got these guys who I don’t know whether to take seriously or not. They sell a laser mic kit for $38,000, and you can buy it online if you’ve got the credit limit!

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