031 PI InSIGHT

A sign is pictured outside Nortel's Carling Campus in Ottawa

 

Did Industrial Espionage Hasten the Demise of Nortel?

Nortel, the former Canadian telecom giant, first filed for bankruptcy in January of 2009. By June, the company announced that it planned to sell off all business units and would not attempt to return to operations. During that time period, analysts tended to blame poor leadership and accounting scandals for the company’s problems.

These sorts of troubles did plague the company; however, industrial espionage may have contributed to the company’s failure and its reputation for not maintaining competitive leadership in the face of a rapidly evolving industry.

How Did Industrial Espionage Lead to Nortel’s Downfall?

Corporate spying or corporate espionage typically refers to illegal surveillance activities used against companies for economic reasons and not for political purposes. Some people may find this ironic because Canada’s Department of National Defense discovered surveillance equipment inside the old Nortel campus as it prepared to move there after Nortel moved out, according to Fox News. The investigator did not believe that those devices had been planted for the military but had simply been left there as a final relic of Nortel.

While some people may have found this discovery surprising, the company had been the victim of corporate spying in the past. Previously, Nortel had been the victim of hackers who used stolen executive passwords to download documents that contained intellectual property and other sensitive material. An investigation of this incident concluded that the corporate network had probably been compromised for at least 10 years.

Nortel’s Worst Problem May Have Been Economic Espionage From China

Richard Bejtlich, the CSO at Mandiant, referred to the kind of economic espionage that Nortel suffered as the “Chinese” model. He described this as physical, digital or electronic surveillance intended to steal intellectual property for the purpose of bringing it to market to compete with the theft’s victim. Brian Shields, a long-time employee of the company, said he spoke with executives as early as 2004 to inform them of the security problem.

As part of his duties as a leader in the internal investigation, Shields told his employers that they needed to invest in better security. He said he had monitored packets of information that traveled from the internal network to a destination in Shanghai. Apparently, the executives decided that they just needed to change their passwords and did not choose to spend more time or money on the problem.

Bejtlich commented that networks and executives’ computers had already been infected with spyware. He said that simply changing passwords would hardly delay hackers as long as they still had spyware in place. This ineffective measure would be like broadcasting a secret on the radio and assuming it would remain a secret. At the same time, the company’s leadership may have never known about the additional surveillance equipment that the military found.

The Fallout From Corporate Espionage on Nortel

Hopefully, this tale provides a warning to other corporate executives to take security seriously. Nortel needed to rebuild its systems and then synchronize password changes on a clean system. Company executives should have also suspected that their security might have been compromised in other ways and gone to the trouble to resolve the problems. They mostly ignored the issue and suffered for it.

Originally, the hackers intended economic espionage in order to beat international competitors in the telecom industry. Since Canada’s military discovered additional surveillance gear, this kind of foreign industrial espionage has become a political issue in addition to an economic one.

 

Your host is Tim O’Rourke, CPS, FCI

The Grafton Group | Investigations & Litigation
3001 N Rocky Point Dr E.,  Suite 200  Tampa, FL
A Florida Based Multi-Disciplined Investigative Firm | # A1400080
Associations:  CALI – FALI – TALI – NCISS

031 Facts & Forensics

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Special Offer for Listeners – latest book now available!
“Investigating Death and Serious Bodily Injuries”
FALI is offering, for a limited time, our Investigating Death & Serious Bodily Injuries book, “Death and Serious Bodily Injury Investigation for the Professional Investigator,” by Dean & Karen Beers.

These are for a limited time! The guide is under revision and will be released this summer for $95 – save 1/3 off the price now at just $70, including shipping with 50% net proceeds going to FALI!

https://fali.site-ym.com/store/ViewProduct.aspx?id=8948697

The manual is over 200 pages and begins with the core of the Beers’s distance learning course manual. It includes over 20 additional forensic, death and serious bodily injury based articles.

Conversations with Karen

Karen joins us with two interesting topics of discussion – Is it Homicide or Suicide and Every Contact Leaves a Trace.

Every Contact Leaves a Trace 
Recently friends and colleagues ‘across the pond’ – Phil and Yin Johnson of JJ Associates International (www.jjassociatesinternational.com) – shared a video on social media, entitled “Every contact leaves a trace” by John Sutherland at TEDxLondon (https://youtu.be/ibl3M4dTF2U). Mr. Sutherland is a Metro London Police officer and shares experiences we have practiced during the nearly 30-year course of our agency – truly, every contact does leave a trace and we will look for them. Most people think of forensic trace evidence; however, this was a concept of our long before we were involved in forensics.
Continued at www.deathcasereview.com/afi-llc-blog/every-contact-leaves-a-trace

“Is it Homicide or Suicide – Test Your Observation Skills”
Recently a friend and colleague of ours shared a cartoon picture of a death scene on social networking. Our thanks to Tom Slovenski (Cellular Forensics – www.cellularforensics.com – SC) for sharing this thought provoking cartoon.

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Criminal & Civil Investigators at Trial

 

Conversations with Karen

Karen and Dean talk about their recent trip to Florida for the Word Association of Detectives Mid-Term Meeting. As the Administrative Manager, this was Karen’s first opportunity to meet many of the WAD members, many visiting from Europe and Asia – from England and France, to Romania and Russia, and India to Malaysia.

Special Guest with Dean

Vicki Lutz is a Colorado licensed attorney and court recognized expert on domestic violence. In a special guest segment of Facts & Forensics, Vicki shared some valuable information for investigators. Be sure and listen to the full podcast for anecdotes and actual case stories – and she shares a special article! Here is a summary of our conversation –

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Third-Party Employment Investigations

What Employers and Investigators Need to Know

If your employees work in sensitive areas, a background check is a must for ensuring that you are not exposing your company or your clients to unnecessary risk. However, there are legal limits to what background check can reveal.

Background checks are covered under the consumer credit law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Under this law, it is illegal for a credit reporting agency to deliver inaccurate information or to wrongfully run a credit check.

FCRA’s rules do not apply to companies who are doing background checks in-house. However, most employers do not have the resources to conduct pre-employment background checks.

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FACTS&FORENSIC

2016 in Review

2016 saw many things for our family and agency. In May our fourth grandchild, third grandson, Lincoln Kyle was born! His sister, Jacee Sue, is our only granddaughter and oldest grandchild. His cousins, Gage and Cash, follow Jacee by about six months. Its busy – and fun!

In September Karen celebrated being the Administrative Manager for the World Association of Detectives. WAD is a busy association of excellent international investigators covering every part of the world and need.

In April Dean was elected to be President of the National Council of Investigation & Security Services. His term is one year and will end at the next Annual Meeting / Hit the Hill event the end of March.

In October, our agency celebrated 29 years in business and Karen celebrating 21 years as a legal investigator. More important, we celebrated our 25-year anniversary together. Time sure flies!

Outlook for 2017

From NCISS, we are excited for this unique opportunity in history – in which we visit Washington DC for our annual Hit the Hill event and meeting our Representatives and Senators. This year is an important opportunity as we have a new administration, and new session of Congress. We see a new administration every 4-8 years, and a new session of Congress every two – it is not often we have both a new president and a new Congress – it has been eight years. This gives us both a new slate to work with and potential new concerns.

029 PI InSIGHT Investigations in Mexico

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Journey to Mexico with me as we speak with your best investigative contact South of the Border. Michael McHenry has spent 42 continuous years as a full time PI…. his experince includes 20 years in Alaska and seventeen years in Mexico.

Michael has served four terms elected as Director of World Assn. of Detectives. Former Chapter Chairman within ASIS,
Graduate of Arizona State University in 1969 and Former Chairman of Municipal Security Commmittee in San MIguel de Allende, Mexico

To reach Michael McHenry please visit his website, call or email.

Mexico Investigations
“We Get results In México Because We Are In México”
www.mexicoinvestigations.com
services@mexinv.com
Tel: 52+415+152+7757

 Your host Tim O’Rourke is the Lead Corporate Investigator for The Grafton Group(TGG).  As a Tampa Private Investigator TGG provides services to businesses, law firms and the public throughout Florida.

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This month I am joined by Francie Koehler who has conducted a wide range of civil and criminal investigations at both federal and state levels since 1985. Her company, Special Circumstances, based in Oakland, CA enables her to concentrate in her area of interest. Additionally she is the host of the long running show PIs Declassified heard on VoiceAmerica.
Dean Beers heard on Facts and Forensic here at GIMG also joins in to discuss NCISS legislative work and 2017 as we move forward. Dean is the current president of NCISS which is considered to be the legislative voice for investigators in Washington DC

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Conversations with Karen

Karen shares some insight on a national story with roots in Colorado – the death of six-year-old Jon Benet Ramsey, found dead in her home 20 years ago. Recent documentaries ‘reveal’ evidence and a team of experts ‘reveals’ who killed her. What do we think?  Tune it for a lively discussion – including the truth about the ‘evidence’ and one important question never asked or answered.

Special Guest with Dean

Tim O’Rourke was a featured speaker – the opening act – for the annual Rocky Mountain Conference hosted by the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado.  While there, Dean and Tim sat down

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Surveillance

6 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire a Private Investigator

Someone who is thinking about hiring a private investigator is probably in the middle of an intense or emotional time of their lives. In spite of this, it is important to consider a few things before you sign a contract with a private investigator in Tampa or any state.

1. Check their license

In order for a private investigator, and the agency they work for, to operate legally in the state of Florida, they must be licensed. The private investigator should be willing — and able — to produce

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Conversations with Karen

After spending almost a week at the La Torretta Resort in Montgomery TX for the World Investigators Conference, hosted by PI Magazine and the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators – we thought we would share our experiences with our listeners.

Special Guest with Dean

Dean has invited friend and colleague, Mark Gillespie TCI, to return and tell our listeners about his presentation at WIC and why a consultation with a forensic science consultant, such as himself, can be valuable to civil and criminal cases.