Telephone training courses and opportunities for TSCM practitioners

October 2015 Security Services & Risk Management, Integrated Solutions, Conferences & Events

Eavesdropping Detection Solutions (EDS) has a dedicated TSCM training facility in Centurion. The 180m² facility includes a telephone testing training room with eight individual testing stations. The room is fully equipped with analogue, digital and VoIP telephone lines, various instruments, PABXs, a server, data cables and sockets. EDS simulates all known telephone attacks during the training.

Each testing station has its own ETA-3A Single Line Telephone Analyser, Talan Telephone and Line Analyser and other telephone testing equipment. EDS has the most advanced TSCM and telephone testing training facility in the world outside of the Research Electronics International (REI) TSCM training facility in the USA.

One of the most dangerous and most vulnerable pieces of equipment in an office or boardroom is the telephone instrument and line. Yet many offering TSCM and debugging surveys ignore this threat or are not properly trained or equipped to investigate this eavesdropping threat.

EDS provides a number of different TSCM telephone testing training opportunities at its dedicated TSCM training facility.

Basic Course in Technical Surveillance Countermeasures

Three days are allocated to telephone training on the EDS basic course in TSCM. The course provides a basic oversight of a telephone system and how Ohms law is used in the implementation of a telephone system. The course examines the effect of voltage drop and the basic telephone attack principles. The focus is mainly on analogue systems and specific on residential systems.

A brief overview is provided on digital communications and business systems (PABX). VoIP systems is only mentioned as the youngest telephone communications protocol.

The ETA-3A Telephone and Line Analyser and voltage meters are used to train the course attendees in testing an analogue line and to identify the different threats and attacks on an analogue line.

Advanced Course in Technical Surveillance Countermeasures

Three days are allocated to telephone training during the advanced course in TSCM. Here the focus is more on business systems and digital communications. Digital communications (analogue to digital and digital to analogue conversion) is explained and the different vulnerabilities and attacks on a digital line are explained.

The basic functions of a PABX is discussed and the basic different kinds of attacks. The basic fundamentals of VoIP is discussed together with the different colour coding of CAT5 and CAT6 cables.

The ETA-3A Telephone and Line Analyser and Talan DPA-700 Telephone and Line Analyser are used to test analogue and digital lines and identify the different types of attacks.

Talan DPA-7000 Operator Course for TSCM Practitioners

The focus of the Talan DPA-7000 operator course is to train and to familiarise the TSCM practitioner with all the functions of the Talan instrument. The Talan DPA-7000 Telephone and Telephone Analyser is currently the only dedicated telephone testing instrument available to TSCM practitioners. The focus during the course is on the functions on the instruments with many practical exercises.

During the Talan course all the functions of the Talan are discussed and practiced. This includes how to set-up the Talan, how to connect the Talan at various positions and places on all telephone systems.

The Talan’s additional functions which assist in investigating different kinds of conductors are discussed and the attendees are trained how to conduct these tests and how to obtain get the correct results.

As a summary the correct use of the Talan, the indications provided by the Talan and how to interpret these results, are discussed. The aim is to train the attendee on the Talan so that the attendee can use the Talan’s capabilities effectively to counter a variety of telephone attacks on all line types and cabling.

Advance Telephone Testing Training Course

A prerequisite for attending this course is attendance of the basic course in TSCM or an equivalent course or the Talan operator course. Attendees must have prior basic knowledge of telephone testing and TSCM protocols to be able to attend the course.

During the advanced telephone testing training course the complete telephone system is discussed. It starts at the exchange and focus on both national and international switching. The different vulnerabilities within an exchange and places where to attack a specific conversation is examined.

From the exchange the different trunking systems are discussed including sub-exchanges, street boxes, pillars up to a residence and a business building. Once again all the vulnerabilities and possible attacks are discussed. At residences and business the different kind of wiring and connections are explained and the attacks that can be conducted against a residence and business are simulated and tested.

As part of the advanced telephone testing training course attendees also have to do practical exercises which include, the colour coding, how to wire a distribution frame and how to build devices to attack or intercept a telephone conversation. Attendees get the opportunity to learn practically how to modify telephone instruments for a number of different types of attacks.

A full section of the course is dedicated to VoIP attacks and countermeasures as well as the wiring/distribution of IT cables.

During the advanced telephone testing training course the complete telephone system (residential and business), PABX, VoIP, IT and general wiring at residences and businesses are discussed, the vulnerabilities and attacks are discussed and tested to enable the attendee to understand all types of attack to enable the attendee to perform a better TSCM investigation on any telecommunication system and any other conductors which can be used for tapping or eavesdropping.

For more information please visit the training pages at or contact Jonathan Whitehead on (012) 665 2109 or e-mail

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