Bugged? Top 10 countermeasures to use against spy gear

You don’t have to be a cat-stroking diabolical bad guy, hell-bent on destroying the world, to want some countermeasures to commonly-procured spy gear. Inspired by this article pointing out the “Top 10 barely-legal gadgets for the modern spy," we set out to discover how to respond to each one of the threats posed by such spy stuff. After you read our top ten list, you’ll be ready for anything — perfectly prepared to say with confidence, “Welcome. We’ve been waiting for you, Mr. Bond.”

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Threat: Lasers
Countermeasure: This one’s easy. When Bond shines a retina-searing laser toward you, quickly put on a pair of these laser-protective glasses. They’re available on a variety of colors, and can be ordered to protect your precious peepers against specific laser wavelengths. And hey, they even fit over your regular glasses.

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Threat: X-Ray glasses

Countermeasure: Stay away from thin fabrics and underwear of contrasting colors, and before you venture out, check whether that wet bathing suit still covers your naughty bits. So-called "X-Ray Vision Glasses," selling for $2,400, are said to let voyeurs see through clothing using infrared tech. Some Sony NightShot camcorders (since discontinued) were also able to (almost) do this. However, these examples barely work, and only with certain extremely thin fabrics in specific lighting conditions. Unless those peeping Toms are using an extremely expensive and non-mobile scanner, it’s a lame claim to start with.


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Threat: Lockpicking

Countermeasure: Let Mr. Bond try messing with this Optilock, whose inventor says is impossible to pick. There are six optical fibers on one side of the lock, with six others on the opposite side. They all match up in a unique routing pattern when a special key is inserted. Conventional locks take up to an hour to pick in the real world; this one ought to submit to picking after, oh, a few decades of tinkering.


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Threat: GPS Tracker

Countermeasure: Plug this baby ($249) into your car’s cigarette lighter, and any satellite signals within 10 feet are completely jammed. That might extend far enough to disrupt the GPS unit hidden within that suitcase full o’ cash in the trunk.


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Threat: Intrusion gear — ladders, suction cups, grappling hooks

Countermeasure: Good luck breaking into these windows and doors. Climb up the side of a building with grappling hooks all you want, Bond, but when you get there you’ll be presented with these completely bulletproof barriers. They’re installed with hardened steel bolts, and as a bonus, they can keep the sounds of gunfire and noisy Aston Martin spy vehicles at a whisper with a noise-suppression value of 41 decibels.


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Threat: Biometric Security

Countermeasure: No need to cut off an approved person’s hand to fool the fingerprint reader. Security researchers have shown that a thumbprint pressed into a soft material like these Gummi Bears here can be use to mold fingerprints that can defeat a reader. Retinal scanners? Ha. Those same sleuths defeated them when they held up a photo of an iris with a hole cut in the center of the image. They even fooled a facial recognition system by showing the camera a video with an approved person’s face on screen.


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Threat: Virtual secret surveillance — key logger

Countermeasure: There are lots of keylogging software and hardware systems floating around, but what the spies are really after are passwords, not those instant messages you're typing to your evil twin. Protect those billions you have sitting in your offshore PayPal account with this $5 security key that generates a different password every 30 seconds using an algorithm unique to you.


vibrating_sensor.jpgThreat: Audio/video surveillance

Countermeasure: Betray that bug with this tiny counter-surveillance device that lets you know if there’s a transmitter in the room with its inconspicuous vibrating alert. It’ll be sniffing out the snoops if they’re broadcasting any radio frequencies within 25 feet, and no one will be the wiser that you’re hip to their sneaky techniques. Sure, there are more powerful bugsweepers, but this one's nice and small, and it can be easily concealed. Just don't let Bond see that amateurish toggle switch on the top of this crude device or you'll really be embarrassed.


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Threat: Hard drive snooping

Countermeasure: You do realize that when you delete data, it’s still sitting there on your hard drive, relatively easy to recover? Avoid letting your plans for word domination fall into the wrong hands with your choice of a variety of software programs that completely erase your hard drive so nothing can be recovered. The National Security Agency says there’s no way data will be ever be seen again after the freeware Secure Erase is done with your hard drive, or you can get an open-source block overwrite utility called Boot and Nuke that can accomplish nearly the same thing.


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Threat: Stun Gun

Countermeasure: Unless Mr. Bond sneaks up on you with a handheld shocker, you can keep him at arm’s length with this telescoping stun gun that extends two feet and zaps him with 800,000 volts. It’ll also alert your henchmen of his presence with an obnoxiously loud 130-decibel siren.