In today’s dynamic business environment, it is often necessary to take actions to protect the privacy and interests of the company. Sometimes, the detection of wiretaps and hidden cameras becomes necessary in such situations. The case study focuses on a situation where the client, a co-owner of the company, faced a conflict with a partner. The client suspects that hidden cameras might have been installed in their apartment during their absence.
Description of the Investigated Object
The company owns a 3-room residential property in Warsaw, intended for employee use during business trips with accommodation. It is primarily used by the client, who has concerns about their privacy as they frequently conduct business discussions there. The investigation aims to answer the question: ‘Are there any surveillance devices in the apartment?’
Technicians began a multi-stage examination of the entire property following an adopted methodology. The equipment used allows for the detection of active (transmitting) and passive (recording) surveillance devices, hidden electronics, both operational and discharged.
In the initial minutes of the examination, technicians identified areas with suspicious thermal signatures, which could indicate the presence of hidden electronic devices. Suspicions were confirmed during the next stage of the examination using a camera detector. In two locations initially selected for inspection using a thermal imaging camera, objects likely to be camera lenses were observed. Before dismantling equipment components, technicians used remaining detectors to confirm the presence of active electronics in the previously indicated locations. Both the ST-600 and Orion 2.4HX detectors confirmed the presence of electronics, particularly that it was active in the first location – located above the refrigerator’s ventilation flap.
In the second location, the use of these devices was impossible due to the potential hiding of a camera lens in another electronic device. Technicians suspected the use of openings in the router’s casing to conceal the camera lens. This router model leaves ample space, which, according to experienced technicians, could be successfully utilized to hide a recorder module, power supply, and camera battery. Both locations indicated by the detection devices prevent quick access to the built-in memory unit (if the camera has one); thus, technicians focused on examining the frequency spectrum and identifying all present sources of radio transmission. As anticipated, there were two strong sources in the property, which upon deeper analysis did not match any existing devices in the property with networking functions and wireless WiFi connectivity.
Upon checking the devices connected to the WiFi network, two devices unknown to the client were revealed, and the sources of radiation were in both previously indicated locations. In both the ventilation grille and the WiFi router casing, technicians found hidden surveillance devices in the form of Chinese pinhole cameras with live streaming via WiFi. Following the revelation of these cameras, technicians proceeded to further examine the remaining area of the property, where no other surveillance devices in the form of wiretaps or cameras were confirmed.
Summary – Detection of Wiretaps and Hidden Cameras
The layout of the rooms and the utilized infrastructure provided favorable conditions for installing surveillance devices. The manner of concealing the discovered spy cameras indicated the actions of individuals knowledgeable about installing such devices. The uncovered cameras could operate continuously for an extended period; recordings stored on microSD cards loop after utilizing the available space on the card. Access to live footage and collected material on the card is possible from anywhere globally via the internet. The lenses used in this case had a relatively narrow angle – approximately 70 degrees – making them relatively small and difficult to detect. Thermal imaging cameras proved crucial. Upon completing the examination, technicians prepared a specialized report, which was handed over to the client along with the dismantled cameras upon their request. The client will take further steps after consulting with a lawyer.