The spy game has existed since ancient history, and Russian spy equipment is among some of most creative in modern history. As technology advanced, so have spy gadgets become more sophisticated. In the end, regardless of the gadget, the ultimate goal of a spy is to collect critical data and pass it on safely and undetected. While advances have been made well beyond Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone, the reality is, low-tech, human intelligence is still the most trusted information. As such, there is still a market for ways to pass sensitive information.
Historically, messages were passed secretly using ciphers that could only be decoded by an individual with the complementary code. Even as early as 500 B.C. messages were passed secretly by means of a ‘skytale.' Writing a message on papyrus, wrapped around a slender rod, the message would be unfurled and used as clothing (belt, turban, etc). When the message reached its destination, the papyrus would be wrapped around a rod of the same diameter to reveal the secret message. Today, computers author ciphers that are virtually impossible to decode without proprietary knowledge.
Although today, most spies, including the Russians, use digital means to pass sensitive information, there are still cases when the low-tech, old school methods are still used. Invisible ink is still used to pass messages. The FBI has found that WiFi is one of the most prevalent means of passing sensitive information because if the network is not being monitored at a specific time the information is retrieved, there is no way to track the exchange. Disposable cell phones are another updated version of an old technique. In pre-cell phone days, Russian spies used a Blackberry-like device to send messages to specific receivers. With so many high tech spy gadgets, the fact is that old fashioned leg work is still the best way to catch a spy in action.
Today, with so many spy gadget websites, anyone with the funds can own almost any covert tool. While most are expensive for the casual interloper, there are a few Russian spy equipment gadgets that can be purchased just for fun.