In the strictest sense of the the definition, Electronic Counter Measures are electrical or electronic devices that are designed to trick or deceive radar, sonar or some other detection system. A common device we all know is radar jamming, where an active radar signal is sent out to confuse the receiver so they cannot detect you approaching.
Electronic Counter Measures Used In Surveillance
In the world of surveillance, electronic counter measures has come to mean measures taken to thwart electronic eavesdropping devices also known as bugs. The processes of debugging a location can include many types of active and passive search techniques and electronic counter measures.
Passive search techniques can include simple things like carefully performing a visual inspection of the premises to spot an installed eavesdropping device. Another passive method would be listening to detect devices.
Active search methods can include using electronic devices to actively search for eavesdropping devices located on the premises. Such electronic equipment can include bug detection tools like RF spectrum analyzers, telephone line analyzers, wire mapping devices, network analysis devices, electrical source detection equipment, and other testers that actively seek out radio waves and power sources.
Telephone line analysis and tap detection is done with a variety of sophisticated equipment that tests the integrity of the lines and look for anomalies. Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) can be used to send a pulse down the wire. When the pulse hits a wall outlet or tap, a portion of the signal pulse is sent back. By measuring the time of the reflected pulse the TDR helps you estimate how far away the anomaly is so that it can be investigated.
Wire mapping is an effective electronic counter measures technique that uses electronic equipment to locate hidden phones that you may not know are on your network. Hidden phones can be used to spy on others directly, and can cost your company money in excessive long distance charges.
More Electronic Counter Measures
Another electronic counter measures technique is to use Non-Linear Junction Detection (NLJD) allowing the TSCM expert to track down diodes, resistors and capacitors that are contained in electronic circuits. If can be extremely for counter acting bugs that are embedded in a picture frame, wall or a piece of furniture. This is a great way to detect and counteract electronic devices even if they are not turned on.
Another area of electronic counter measures can be utilizing methods to thwart the collection of information from your premises via electronic devices. For example: There are laser beam devices that when pointed at a window from outside your premises, can decipher a conversation in an office by examining the tiny vibrations in the window glass. An easy counter measure would be to use sound absorbing heavy drapes to eliminate the ability of the glass to react to sound waves. One way window tinting may be another effective counter measure for the same problem.
It’s best to consult with a counter surveillance expert when applying electronic counter measures so that effective methods are used to counteract the specific threats you are facing.