Spy Tips on Bluetooth, Sympathy, Parking Garages, and more
Whether you’re dealing with the presidential guard in Belarus, the federal security service in Russia, or the local police in Miami, the drill is pretty much the same, keep your place clean of damning evidence. Keep your alibis and your whereabouts straight, and always be ready for surprise visits.
The lone spy who always works solo is a myth. The truth is, you don’t last long without keeping a few friends around, because your enemies will find you on their own.
Your first priority when you’re captured is to make it clear that your cooperation isn’t free. Your captor gets what he wants if you get what you want. In any healthy relationship, there needs to be some give and take.
Spies are trained to use whatever resources are available. In the hills of Afghanistan, the best you can hope for are rocks and some scrub brush. In an office building, you may have more options.
Technology that makes communication easier also tends to make it more vulnerable. The Bluetooth on a cellphone, for example, is an easy way to send information wirelessly over short distances. Use an antenna, and you can get that same information over longer distances. If you don’t have an antenna, you can build your own. A combination of metal washers and a bent coat hanger connected to a cylindrical chip can will allow you to capture the signal. A USB cable transmits the stolen information to a computer. Add a few pencils for legs, and you’ve got a cute little improvised hacking device.
Nothing sells innocence like an injury. People naturally sympathize with someone who’s bleeding. If you’re in a situation where you really need the benefit of the doubt, it’s worth a flesh wound.
In the adrenaline rush of a high-stress situation, you tend to miss details. But it’s the little things that make all the difference.
A tire iron is great if you need a new tire. It’s also great if you need a new car, because a tire iron can be used to break a window and pry open the steering column to expose the ignition leads. It’s the ultimate all-purpose tool.
One of the great things about stealing information is that nobody knows it’s gone. Steal someone’s purse, and you’re probably in for a lot of screaming. But steal someone’s credit card numbers, and half the time, they thank you.
Involving civilians in operations is dangerous, but sometimes necessary. When it has to happen, you do what you can to keep the civilian out of harm’s way.
The problem with blackmail is that it’s like a gun with only one bullet. You can’t waste that bullet on every little problem. And the closer you get to your goal, the harder it is to pull the trigger.
If you had to choose an ideal environment for guerilla war, it would probably look a lot like an urban parking structure. It’s an easy place to create a distraction and draw out opposing forces. A parking garage is also a great place to control visibility and give yourself an advantage. And once you do that, you can find cover and stage an effective ambush.