Password Safe

Password Safe An issue that has become an increasing concern is the loss of data when laptops or hard drives are stolen. This is particularly of concern if the drive in question is a government computer that has … Read More

The two sides of IPCI loss

The two sides of IPCI loss In preparing for our October Intellectual Property and Critical Information conference, it has become clear that there are two sides to IPCI loss, of which only one seems to be widely … Read More

Death by ant

Death by ant In an interesting case in China, a man was sentenced to death for a scam involving ant farms. Ants are used in traditional Chinese medicine and, as is often the case with many medicines, can be pricey. … Read More

Awakening Prologue

Awakening Prologue Centerpointe Research Institute 3 CDs $159 1-503-672-7117 There is a consensus opinion that meditation is good for you, both physically and … Read More

How dead is dead?

How dead is dead? A recent case that went to court ended unsatisfactorily when the defendant died while abroad. The death certificate brought the lawsuit to a close. After the defendant died, we received strong … Read More

Who should investigate your fraud?

Who should investigate your fraud? The background of a fraud investigator makes a significant difference in the investigation of a fraud. Typically, financial investigators come from one of three backgrounds: … Read More

Executive Protection

Executive Protection — When someone does something wrong, they often don’t want to admit it. This is not unnatural, as few people wish to suffer if they can avoid it. There are three general categories that … Read More

IP fraud

IP fraud We see more financial fraud every week than most companies see in a year. We deal with more financial fraud in a month than most government agencies are likely to encounter in a decade. Because of this, we … Read More

Whom do you trust?

Whom do you trust? Two of the editors of this journal recently spoke to a group of bankers and journalists in Tashkenton Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, as well as Identification, Valuation, and Protection of … Read More

Symbiotics Colostrum Plus/ EpiCor

Symbiotics Colostrum Plus ( and EpiCor ( As readers know, we are very health conscious. In part it is because we know that it is better to avoid … Read More

Rendezvous Bay Hotel and Villas, Anguilla

Rendezvous Bay Hotel and Villas, Anguilla “That’s Anguilla not Antigua,” is the stock response when we tell people about Rendezvous Bay in Anguilla. Antigua is a commercial hub with an airport that lands … Read More

Targeted viruses

Targeted viruses In the good old days, people wrote viruses largely because they could. While some attempted to justify what they did by saying that they were doing it to make obvious the flaws, most really did it … Read More

Re-training in security driving

Re-training in security driving Professional drivers undergo regular driving training. We have spoken to some senior managers who seem puzzled by this, considering the training to be little more than a boondoggle. … Read More

Need to know in globalized product development

Need to know in globalized product development A serious threat to intellectual property in a global economy is that you are willingly sharing your IP with folks who will immediately steal it for their own use, or … Read More

How can I help you?

How can I help you? When this editor’s father was doing consulting it was his habit to ask employees what, from their perspective, needed to be done. The employees always knew, and their management almost never … Read More


ChoiceMail DigiPortal $39.95 The other day we realized we were drowning in a sea of spam, with this editor alone receiving between eighteen to twenty thousand pieces of spam each month, … Read More


BOP FOLP The scam is a straightforward pitch to help people get out of debt and put money in their pockets. It was made though BOP FOLP advertisements in local papers and signs nailed to street posts. BOP FOLP – … Read More

EFT reversals and ACH fraud

EFT reversals and ACH fraud Many Thanks to Bob Leahy at [email protected] for allowing us to pirate and paraphrase his questions and answers on EFT reversals and ACH fraud. A client called him with a question. “We … Read More

Straight from the cat’s mouth

Straight from the cat’s mouth In our line of work we occasionally get to spend time at seminars with some very accomplished criminals. Counterfeiters, embezzlers, and cat burglars, oh my! At a recent convention … Read More

Records retention policy

Records retention policy The issue of records retention is one that has concerned us for quite some time. We would suggest you re-read our initial article (December 1998) on records retention policies, and … Read More

Motorola V195 and Palm Tungsten E2

Motorola V195 and Palm Tungsten E2 It recently became clear that our mobile phone was dying, and we began the search for a replacement. The base criteria were that it be A) a quad-band GSM terminal B) with no … Read More

I once was lost, but now am found….

I once was lost, but now am found…. There has been a rash of recent stories in the press of people lost in the wilderness and dying. The most publicized of these has been the loss on Mount Hood of Kelly James and … Read More

Heart attack performance review

Heart attack performance review One evening last month our home phone rang at2:25 am. It was a neighbor who said he didn’t feel well. We got dressed, grabbed our always-take-with-us bag, and went up to his … Read More

Protecting inaccessible places

Protecting inaccessible places Recently we were browsing at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan at the same time a co-editor was in a bookstore in Phoenix. We both chanced upon the same book by a burglar from … Read More

Do intangibles matter?

Do intangibles matter? One of the things that always astonishes us when discussing intellectual property, critical information, and other intangibles is the reality that so may people don’t understand the … Read More

Choosing electronic voting machines

Choosing electronic voting machines In evaluating electronic voting machines we must look at two types of error. The first is system error, which is error induced by the machine. That is to say that you vote for … Read More

The Cane: Street Techniques (DVD)

The Cane: Street Techniques (DVD) Cane Masters 32 minutes $39.95 1-800-422-CANE (2263) In the last issue of ÆGIS we discussed use of canes by protective specialists as an alternative to … Read More

The RAD Index and counterterrorism

The RAD Index and counterterrorism As we have often mentioned, five questions must be asked in evaluating every policy or measure. These are: 1. What problem is the policy or measure trying to solve? 2. How can it … Read More

Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier

Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier Most people who use computers know that one of the factors that can slow down the speed of the machine is fragmentation of the hard drive. In essence, what happens is that when you store … Read More

Implications of Islamic reformation

Implications of Islamic reformation Throughout history it has generally been believed that religious uniformity was essential for political and social stability. Historically, therefore, this involvement of … Read More

Russian economic espionage

Russian economic espionage As regular readers know, we are generally much more concerned with losses to competitive intelligence than losses from economic espionage. This is not because we discount the risks … Read More

We own what?

We own what? Some time ago a friend of ours was at a flea market with a friend of his. Our friend’s friend stopped at a booth, picked up a pot, and asked the vendor how much it cost. The price was $50, and he … Read More

The Bat! Private Disk

The Bat! Private Disk RITLabs, if you use The Bat! In the July 2006 ÆGIS we wrote about The Bat! Voyager, the portable version of our e-mail client of choice that we … Read More

Houston Networking Group

Houston Networking Group When dealing with adversaries, it can be greatly beneficial if those with a common interest band together to share information. While it requires forethought, dedication, and initiative to … Read More

Self-defense issues

Self-defense issues We recently were set up to go to a meeting, with people flying in for this event. Unfortunately, the person with whom we were to meet was in the hospital, so all the travel and preparation was … Read More

Walking sticks in lieu of impact weapons?

Walking sticks in lieu of impact weapons? In the last issue we discussed collapsible impact weapons. One might wonder if walking sticks and umbrellas might serve as a reasonable alternative to impact weapons for … Read More

Competitors and adversaries

Competitors and adversaries One of the things that distinguish OPSEC from other forms of risk management is the emphasis on specific threats. That is to say that normally a risk management team looks at what is … Read More

Other ways of getting information

Other ways of getting information In the exercise of due diligence the most obvious route is not always the most possible route. As an example, we know of a recent case in which a larger retail company was … Read More

Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood

Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood Jim Harper Cato Institute ISBN: 1-930865-85-6 288 pages $13.95 1-301-459-3366 We often quote Bruce Schneier’s dicta on … Read More

How United Airlines Flight 93 changed aircraft security

How United Airlines Flight 93 changed aircraft security When United Airlines flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania as passengers fought the hijackers that had taken over the craft, the paradigm for aircraft security … Read More

Déjà vu all over again: T-Mobile’s Sharp Sidekick 3

Déjà vu all over again: T-Mobile’s Sharp Sidekick 3 As the mobile phone market has become saturated, with voice calls becoming a commodity item, service providers not unreasonably looked to find new sources of … Read More

Options in collapsible impact weapons

Options in collapsible impact weapons In the field of executive protection we occasionally have to use weapons. In most high-threat circumstances not involving war and civil unrest, we prefer not to allow agents to … Read More

What is critical information?

What is critical information? When we talk about preventing information loss, we usually talk about three areas: Identification, valuation, and protection of the information. We can generally classify information … Read More

Cops moonlighting as investigators

Cops moonlighting as investigators One of our competitors was hired by an attorney who had a client that had suffered the theft from its computers of a list of all of their key employees. The list ended up in the … Read More

SPECIAL REPORT Debt Collection from Small and Medium Judgments

SPECIAL REPORT Debt Collection from Small and Medium Judgments and International Asset Location and Recovery           1. Why we wrote this special report           2. Understanding the ground rules     … Read More

Alternatives to liquids on commercial aircraft

Alternatives to liquids on commercial aircraft Several years ago, a man brought several bottles of water on board an aircraft in China. As it turned out, the bottles actually contained white gas, such as is used … Read More


IBackup The other day we got a call from a colleague whose hard drive had died. He lost a lot of information, largely because he had not backed up his machine. Equally embarrassing, some … Read More

Porting mobile phone numbers

Porting mobile phone numbers When AT&T Wireless was going GSM, they offered an unlimited talk-time plan for $99 as an inducement for people to switch from AMPS/DAMPS. We are pretty chatty, and took the plan. … Read More


Tac-Pack As readers know, we are very concerned with medical issues. One of the things we carry with us is the Tac-Pack concealable trauma pack ( This vacuum- packed kit will fit … Read More

We are not alone…

We are not alone… We hear lots of silly questions, like how come the Japanese smoke so much but don’t have lung cancer? And how come there is no speed limit on the Autobahn but there are no automobile … Read More

Breaking trust, breaking trusts

Breaking trust, breaking trusts We all too frequently get calls from people who have lost money. They frequently know where the money is, but believe that it cannot be seized because it is held in trust, or … Read More

The Race Trap by Drs. Robert L. Johnson and Steven Simring (with Gene Busnar)

The Race Trap Drs. Robert L. Johnson and Steven Simring (with Gene Busnar) Harper Business ISBN: 0-06-662001-5 239 pages $28.00 1-212-207-7000 Because the United States was founded as … Read More

Where my house?

Where my house? Our stock in trade as investigators are the bizarre and unusual. Thus, when a friend or family member has a problem that falls into the category of bizarre and unusual, we get the call. As a … Read More

The Bat! Voyager

The Bat! Voyager We use an e-mail program called The Bat! (see the January 2005 issue of ÆGIS), put out by RIT Labs ( We use it because it is extremely virus-resistant while simultaneously … Read More

Mission Knives

Mission Knives In the protective services business we often find ourselves laden down with knives. Assuming we are not expecting any difficulties, most people we know in the trade carry a small pocket knife, a … Read More


Arson We recently spoke at a conference in London in which three of us spoke on topic relating to protecting information. This is not uncommon for us, and always makes us a little anxious, as we in theory face the … Read More

Financing asset location

Financing asset location Finding concealed assets is an expensive business, and one which is about to become unaffordable for most Americans. This is because Congress is moving inexorably to pass some version of … Read More

Zero Halliburton luggage

Zero Halliburton luggage Zero Manufacturing, Inc. 1- 801-298-5900 We travel a lot. (One editor is recognized by sight at the airline counter in his home town, and by some of the … Read More

5.11 Tactical Gear

5.11 Tactical Gear It is always a pleasure to see products that are well thought out and well executed – particularly products we can use. Because of this, we were delighted when a friend called and asked us to … Read More

Pen registers

ויאמר אל-נא יחר לאדני ואדברה אך-הפעם אולי ימצאון שם עשרה ויאמר לא אשחית בעבור העשרה: Genesis 18:32 An increasing number of people are concerned … Read More

International Stalking countermeasures

International Stalking countermeasures Contributed by Henrik Bramsborg, Bramsborg Security & Safety. He is the managing director of Bramsborg Security & Safety, a security company based in Denmark. … Read More

When should you call the FBI?

When should you call the FBI? Companies that choose not to implement an OPSEC program face a substantial eventuality of substantial loses from competitive intelligence, theft, and economic espionage. The mindset of … Read More

Change through participation

Change through participation While we are all familiar with takeovers of public companies, hostile and friendly, we are less familiar with cases where participation can be a tool used to change a private … Read More

The Law and Economics of Cybersecurity

The Law and Economics of Cybersecurity Edited by Mark F. Grady and Francesco Parisi Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-85527-6 320 pages $75 The … Read More

Who might live in a pandemic

Who might live in a pandemic A lot of odd things happen within humanity. For example, if you have direct forebears who had the plague and survived, you likely inherited a strand of DNA which makes you virtually … Read More

Nokia 6270

Nokia 6270 On 31 July 2001 the first GSM 850 call was made, and soon a number of countries in the Western hemisphere (Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, … Read More

Decapitation à la America: How China might invade Taiwan

Decapitation à la America: How China might invade Taiwan Max Hirsch ([email protected]) is a former translator in the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Taiwanese government. He is currently a reporter at … Read More

How Usama bin Laden made the world safe for spies

How Usama bin Laden made the world safe for spies For a brief period of time after the Cold War ended it looked as if some effort would be put forth to address economic espionage. This was not because economic … Read More

Gaming the system using customer complaints

Gaming the system using customer complaints A company that specialized in motivation and life skill training had had over 15,000 student / customers since it was founded many years ago. The program averaged about … Read More


KEYController KeySure PO Box 362 Hudson NY 12534-0362 1-518-828-5337   In the June 2004 issue we discussed the KeyController, which allows you to put things in plastic boxes that, once … Read More

Moving data

Moving data In the dim past, before networks, we recommended to a company that it fire anyone discovered to have a modem connected to their terminal, because it would allow them to transfer data to the outside … Read More

Déjà vu all over again….

Déjà vu all over again…. Technical Issues —  One of the odd things about the wireless telecommunications business is that the industry is frequently behind the technology curve in terms of handset/frequency … Read More


Slavery This editor has begun research on a book, working title Good Court, Bad Court, dealing with Dred Scott and Plessy. While looking at these Supreme Court decisions – particularly Plessy – made it clear … Read More

Is he Cheating on you? 829 Telltale Signs

Is he Cheating on you? 829 Telltale Signs An important part of competitive intelligence and economic espionage comes from indicators of activity. An indicator is something which gives a clue as to activity, though … Read More


Polygraphy There is some question about the validity of polygraph testing. In one case with which we are familiar, from the days when polygraphs could be used as part of a pre-employment test, an early teenager was … Read More

Corporate Crime by Marshall Clinard and Peter Yeager

Corporate Crime Marshall Clinard and Peter Yeager Transaction Publishers ISBN: 1-4128-0493-0 435 pages $34.95? 1-732-445-1245 This is a re-issue of an interesting book that was originally published in 1980. It … Read More

Pay Stub Extreme Income Makeover Better than an AmEx Platinum Card stapled to your forehead

Pay Stub Extreme Income Makeover Better than an AmEx Platinum Card stapled to your forehead Several Internet companies are offering “novelty pay check stubs” for, of course, entertainment purposes only. For … Read More

Specialized spyware developers

Specialized spyware developers There is still a perception that spyware and viruses are done by kids for misguided fun. While this might have been the case in the dim past, creation of malware has become a criminal … Read More

China Syndrome: Staving off social meltdown in rural China

China Syndrome: Staving off social meltdown in rural China Contributed by Max Hirsch ([email protected]). Max Hirsch is a translator in the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Taiwanese government. He also … Read More

From Europe

From Europe  Competitive Intelligence An interesting story by Alf Young in Glasgow’s Sunday Herald ( mentioned a piece – the content of which doesn’t matter for this … Read More

ACH Debits

ACH Debits You get them. You know, those pesky little checks for $12.00. “That must be the rebate check I was expecting.” So you deposit the check. What you may not been aware of is that the check had an … Read More

Spyware Doctor 3.5

Spyware Doctor 3.5 PC Tools Software $29.95 1-800-406-4966 In the January issue of ÆGIS we mentioned the malware that Sony-BMG installed on computers that played certain of … Read More

The case of the missing sniffles

The case of the missing sniffles One of our editors tends to get sick in the winter, and yet, this winter, he has not had so much as the sniffles. We asked what he thought was responsible, and whether he is doing … Read More

Toner expiration games

Toner expiration games We recently got a call from an irate friend who had bought a case of toner cartridges for the HP OfficeJet printer that he used in his home office. At the time, this seemed like a good idea, … Read More

Carrying costs

Carrying costs While we ourselves do not carry guns, the nature of that portion of our business that deals with protective services in high-threat environments means that some of the people who work for us must. In … Read More

Internet losses

Internet losses A report released by the National Counterintelligence Center (NACIC) indicates that the Internet is the fastest growing method used by foreign entities to gather intelligence about U.S. companies. … Read More

Cashing in on the glass ceiling

Cashing in on the glass ceiling One of the nice things about holiday parties and bars is that in both one has the opportunity to eavesdrop on conversations, and learn things you would not be told directly. We … Read More

AquaStarTM Plus water purifier

AquaStarTM Plus water purifier Book and Product Reviews AquaStarTM Plus water purifier Meridion Design, Inc. $95 In last month’s ÆGIS we mentioned the AquaStar Plus water purifier. … Read More

.Santa Claus

.Santa Claus Those of you who watch the Simpsons might recall the episode in which Homer dies, but can’t get into Heaven because he has never done a good deed. He is sent back, and, quite by accident, does a good … Read More

Maritime Shipping in the 21st Century: The Next Generation

Maritime Shipping in the 21st Century: The Next Generation Contributed by Professor Arthur Cohen B.A., M.A., CEO, Target Consultants International, Ltd. ([email protected]). Contributed articles do not … Read More

Nutritional supplements while traveling

Nutritional supplements while traveling Traveling can be stressful under the best of circumstances. It can disrupt sleep patterns, move you quickly from time zone to time zone, subject you to environmental changes … Read More

Camera phones at the movies, and their recommended use on TV

Camera phones at the movies, and their recommended use on TV We recently went to see a movie (The Family Stone, which we quite enjoyed). Before entering the theatre itself we were all asked if we had mobile phones. … Read More

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction is a reflection of management policy, and is an important issue: happy customers tend to be the best and least expensive tool for generating new customers; unhappy … Read More

Bowflex i-Trainer

Bowflex i-Trainer Bowflex Windows-only software $59.99 9&productName=iTrainer+CD+Rom&linkID=1 1-888-557-6055 We spend a lot of time in this … Read More

What we worry about at night

What we worry about at night A lot of people worry about terrorism. And, based on the level of tax dollars being spent to deal with terrorism, it is a preoccupation of our country at large. While we are not … Read More

VoIP security issues

VoIP security issues There has, of late, been a rash of (justified) concern about the security of VOIP communications. Indeed, on 24 October 2005 the Voice over IP Security and Privacy Alliance published their … Read More

Personal preparation for crisis

Personal preparation for crisis In the September issue of ÆGIS we wrote about hurricane activity, which we hope was of some before-the-fact help for those who read it before the arrival of Katrina. And in the … Read More

Buggy whips

Buggy whips One of the things that can be hard to learn is when you need to change the direction of your business. For many, this is a difficult decision because we have so much invested in the past that it is hard … Read More

Who are these people, and why are we giving them our money?

Who are these people, and why are we giving them our money? Most of us prefer to deal with people whom we like. Often these are people with whom we identify. Con artists tend to be appealing people with whom we … Read More

Upcoming Events Reminder Service

Upcoming Events Reminder Service Specialized Consulting Services +1-818-980-6990 Those who travel internationally need to be aware of holidays and events that might … Read More

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