This Mark IV microdot camera could be used to take pictures of documents. The microdot film was so tiny it could be hidden in a spy's personal effects and smuggled out of a location.

Tradecraft, within the intelligence community, refers to the techniques, methods, and technologies used in modern espionage (spying) and generally as part of the activity of intelligence assessment. This includes general topics or techniques (dead drops, for example), or the specific techniques of a nation or organization (the particular form of encryption (encoding) used by the National Security Agency, for example).


Caltrop used by the US Office of Strategic Services. When scattered on a roadway or runway, the hollow spikes puncture self-sealing rubber tires. The hole in the center allows air to escape even if the other ends of the tube are sealed by soft ground.
"Belly-buster", a hand-cranked audio drill strapped to an agent's stomach. It was used during the late 1950s and early 1960s to covertly drill holes into masonry for implanting audio devices, such as microphones.

In popular culture

In books

In the books of such spy novelists as Ian Fleming, John le Carré and Tom Clancy, characters frequently engage in tradecraft, e.g. making or retrieving items from "dead drops", "dry cleaning", and wiring, using, or sweeping for intelligence gathering devices, such as cameras or microphones hidden in the subjects' quarters, vehicles, clothing, or accessories.

In film

See also


  1. ^ Rivest, Ronald L. (1990). "Cryptology". In J. Van Leeuwen (ed.). Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science. Vol. 1. Elsevier.
  2. ^ Grant Blackwood (2006). James Patterson (ed.). "Sacrificial Lion". Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night.
  3. ^ Fridrich, Jessica; M. Goljan; D. Soukal (2004). Delp Iii, Edward J; Wong, Ping W (eds.). "Searching for the Stego Key" (PDF). Proc. SPIE, Electronic Imaging, Security, Steganography, and Watermarking of Multimedia Contents VI. Security, Steganography, and Watermarking of Multimedia Contents VI. 5306: 70–82. Bibcode:2004SPIE.5306...70F. doi:10.1117/12.521353. S2CID 6773772. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  4. ^ Pahati, OJ (2001-11-29). "Confounding Carnivore: How to Protect Your Online Privacy". AlterNet. Archived from the original on 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  5. ^ "Mission Darkness Faraday Bag Review: Understanding Its Vital Role In Intelligence Operations". The Gear Bunker. Scott Witner.
  6. ^ Product Delivery Order Requirements Package Checklist (PDF), US Air Force, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-29
  7. ^ TEMPEST Equipment Selection Process, NATO Information Assurance, 1981, archived from the original on 2019-02-02, retrieved 2014-12-27
  8. ^ "PARAGRAPH 13- SECURITY GUiDANCE". Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2015-10-04.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Jeremy Beck (13 January 2013). "Zero Dark Thirty: Terror, Torture, and Tradecraft". MovieManifesto. Retrieved 14 November 2019.

Further reading