Roving Bugs

by Daniel Raffel

ABC News is reporting a story that claims the FBI can access and control a cellphone that is turned off, activate its microphone and transmit any audio it picks up to a FBI listening post.

11 Comments

Jon
2006-12-08 03:21:58
I know businessmen in Russia who have been taking the batteries out of their cellphones whenenver they aren't using it -- for 15 years now. For this very reason.
Lee Dryburgh
2006-12-13 05:11:37
Sorry IMO this is a crock of crap. Without even bothering to Google and check out specs as I think it is a waste of time to begin with, I'd say that the article is nonsense. The mobiles that were used must have been tampered with. I don't believe for one second that this functionality ships with regular mobiles! LOL.
Krairo
2006-12-15 16:43:58
Their the FBI they decide what we can sell and what we can't. You sound so ignorant you obviously have no knowledge of what they are capable of doing. I hacked my phone before but only to change menu's and data sizes on my phone. Again their the FBI and all they have to do is flash the phone and put a hack into mobile software. Its not that hard to do if you have thousands of willingly intelligent tech geeks that would do it for the $.
Jason Sjobeck
2006-12-15 21:48:57
oh my god! When will these creeps drop dead already. Get a life. Leave us alone. The handwriting is on the wall. I am about ready to move out of this doomed country.
Daniel
2006-12-18 12:33:34
Lee, I agree this sounds outrageous. The easiest explanation to swallow is that the H/W in question was modified. That every mobile device is prone to sniffing to this degree seems super unlikely, I'd assume something would have bubbled up by now if this really was in production.
Brush
2006-12-28 18:02:01
RCI Wireless has a great article on this, here are a few points in the article. "A cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the pourpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone. This is done by transmitting to the cell phone a maintenance command on the control channel. This command places the cellular telephone in the "diagnostic mode." This is refered to as a roving bug. "Roving bugs" pick up room audio as opposed to traditional wiretaps.... ....a "roving bug" can be implanted over the air in most any digital cell phone.... Add this, ....more than 200 million U.S. cellular subscribers whose location can already be pinpointed... "In various respects, the cell phone is a tracking device and its a bug..."
Daniel
2006-12-29 13:07:40
So, it looks like the s/w changes necessary to enable this "new feature" are installed over the air without the consumer knowing their carrier just pushed them an "update". Slightly more details here.
Ray
2007-01-15 09:47:03
I first heard this the other day at a party and thought it was bunk. Then I searched. Having been in signal intelligence in the late 60's, I should not have been so doubtful. Here are a number of links that talk about it.
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035-6140191.html


http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/12/remotely_eavesd_1.html


http://www.nyu.edu/classes/siva/archives/003798.html


http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13234&highlight=roving+bug


Anita
2007-07-30 09:58:20
I have the roving bug in my personal phone - a gift from industrious workmates. I wish someone would take abuse of this technology seriously so that people like me can have some relief from the abuse and fear and harrassment.


i continue to surf the web for good info on the roving bug

bob
2008-07-04 05:34:03
NOT ONLY DOES IT LISTEN TO EVERYONE WHERE THE PERSON THAT THEY ARE TAPING BUT ALSO EVERYONE ON HIS OR HER CONTAC LIST, NOW KEEP IN MIND THIS IS A MICROPHONE EVERYONE IN THE SURROUNDING PERSON GETS LISTENED TOO INNOCENT OR NOT, THIS IS NOT A LAND PHONE TAP WHERE THE PERSON AN WHOM HE OR SHE IS TALKING TOO ON THE OTHER END, THIS IS MICROPHONE EVERYONE IS BEING HEARED, NOT TO MENTION EVERYONE ON HIS OR HER CONTAC LIST, WHAT IM MAD ABOUT A FAMILY MEMBER CELL WAS BEING TAPPED WHEN HE PHONE ME THEN MY CELL WAS AUTO, TAPPED WE ARE INNOCENT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS THE POLICE HEARED EVERYTHING MY WIFE AN I DID EVEN HAVE SEX, THE GUY IS IN JAIL BUT THE WHITFIELD COUNTY DRUG TASK FORCE IN DALTON GEORGIA, HAVE BEEN BUSTING CITIZENS WITHOUT A COURT ORDER TO TAP THEM, SO ALOT PRIVACY OF CITIZENS ARE VIOLATED AND THEY DONT HAVE ANY IDEAL, IF A COP WANTS TO SPY ON A FEMALE LISTEN TO HER PRIVATE PHONE MSG, TEXT MSG, NO PROBLEM, WOW I NEVER BEEN SO MAD WHEN A FAMILY MEMBER TOLD ME HOW ALL OF US WAS INVADED OF PRIVACY AT FIRST I SAID NO THEY SAID GET IN THE CAR WOW I KNEW THEN YEA WE ARETHEN THE NEXT NIGHT I EASED OUT OF THE HOUSE HEARED NOTHING EASED BACK IN AN SAID HONEY IM GOIN OVER TO ---HOUSE SHE SAID OK I WALKED OUT THE DOOR I SEEN TWO UNDERCOVER COPS GO DIFFERENT WAYS ONE OF THEM FOLLOWED THEN TURNED AN I SEEN THE OTHER PULL IN BEHIND ME. YEA THEY HEARED ME AN MY WIFE HAVE SEX I KNOW AT LEAST ONCE, I HATE THE AMERICAN GOV, WE ARE NOT FREE!
bob
2008-07-04 05:34:08
NOT ONLY DOES IT LISTEN TO EVERYONE WHERE THE PERSON THAT THEY ARE TAPING BUT ALSO EVERYONE ON HIS OR HER CONTAC LIST, NOW KEEP IN MIND THIS IS A MICROPHONE EVERYONE IN THE SURROUNDING PERSON GETS LISTENED TOO INNOCENT OR NOT, THIS IS NOT A LAND PHONE TAP WHERE THE PERSON AN WHOM HE OR SHE IS TALKING TOO ON THE OTHER END, THIS IS MICROPHONE EVERYONE IS BEING HEARED, NOT TO MENTION EVERYONE ON HIS OR HER CONTAC LIST, WHAT IM MAD ABOUT A FAMILY MEMBER CELL WAS BEING TAPPED WHEN HE PHONE ME THEN MY CELL WAS AUTO, TAPPED WE ARE INNOCENT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS THE POLICE HEARED EVERYTHING MY WIFE AN I DID EVEN HAVE SEX, THE GUY IS IN JAIL BUT THE WHITFIELD COUNTY DRUG TASK FORCE IN DALTON GEORGIA, HAVE BEEN BUSTING CITIZENS WITHOUT A COURT ORDER TO TAP THEM, SO ALOT PRIVACY OF CITIZENS ARE VIOLATED AND THEY DONT HAVE ANY IDEAL, IF A COP WANTS TO SPY ON A FEMALE LISTEN TO HER PRIVATE PHONE MSG, TEXT MSG, NO PROBLEM, WOW I NEVER BEEN SO MAD WHEN A FAMILY MEMBER TOLD ME HOW ALL OF US WAS INVADED OF PRIVACY AT FIRST I SAID NO THEY SAID GET IN THE CAR WOW I KNEW THEN YEA WE ARETHEN THE NEXT NIGHT I EASED OUT OF THE HOUSE HEARED NOTHING EASED BACK IN AN SAID HONEY IM GOIN OVER TO ---HOUSE SHE SAID OK I WALKED OUT THE DOOR I SEEN TWO UNDERCOVER COPS GO DIFFERENT WAYS ONE OF THEM FOLLOWED THEN TURNED AN I SEEN THE OTHER PULL IN BEHIND ME. YEA THEY HEARED ME AN MY WIFE HAVE SEX I KNOW AT LEAST ONCE, I HATE THE AMERICAN GOV, WE ARE NOT FREE!