Thursday, February 2, 2017

Federal agencies warned of cyber-espionage coming from their landlords

This is a real threat not only to our Government Agencies, who usually have some control over the space, but for all of us that lease space in buildings we do not control, and often do not know who does. If someone else has control of the building, the ability to insert espionage devices is virtually unstoppable. Microphones can be placed in wall air ducts, floors and ceilings that defy detection in many cases. You can mitigate a lot of the attempts by putting sensitive projects including the staff in rooms that you control the adjacent space more, but still floors ceiling and long term renovations can cause problems. In one case an espionage attack was made by installing cables in the building that ran from one tenants space to another, something that happens all the time. Then the owner (and attacker) cut pieces of the cable, installed microphone on the end of the cable and then pulled it through the victims space, stopping when they got the best audio. This has been done with network cables to spy on computer networks inside the victims space as well as video systems. One companies video system was completely compromised by the landlords use of trailing open coax cables through their space. Even fiber optic cables used for high speed data have been compromised. There is a myth out there that fiber optic cables can not be tapped into, this is not the case, it is much harder, but quite possible to do. In clients spaces CTI has designed, we try to insure the cables are pulled as a continuous unit with no splices. This makes it much harder to tap the cable with out detection, but it is still conceivably possible. A major actor like Russia or China would not fine it impossible.
from CTI Consulting

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