FBI Activates Cell Phones Remotely for Wiretapping
December 2, 2006 3:57 PM
comment(s) - last by
They can see us, read our emails, watch our IM conversations, and now even hear us whether we want them to or not
It seems as though George Orwell hit it the bullseye again when he wrote about Big Brother and the government's way of keeping track of the general public. It has been recently revealed that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has a way of
tapping a cell phone and using the microphone to listen in on nearby conversations
The method used for listening in on conversations held by alleged members of Cosa Nostra is called a "roving bug" and was ruled to be a legal method of wiretapping by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The bug was alledgedly used on two Nextel phones. It looks like all cellular phones are vulnerable to this sort of wiretapping according to CNet's findings:
The U.S. Commerce Department's security office
that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An
Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."
Kaplan further added that the functionality of the roving bug was in place even when the phone was powered off -- or at least when the phone looked to be powered off. One possible method that the FBI used to tap into the two Nextel phones is by getting the network to install a rogue firmware update which gave the agency access to such features.
Such capability has long been rumored to exist in Motorola phones after it was discovered how the 9/11 terrorists used cellular phones to coordinate most of their activities.
Still there are some skeptics who believe that this method does not exist and that the FBI had to have physically planted a bug into the cellular phone to monitor conversations. But with the recent boom of PDA phones and devices that support custom software it was only a matter of time before hackers, or the government found a way to exploit similar features.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/2/2006 11:23:50 PM
Considering how bad the reception is 90% of the time with my phone though, I feel sorry for the FBI agent(s) trying to listen in on my conversations..
Seriously though, if you were a terrorist(or even if you're just paranoid), you can always pull out the battery on your phone until you needed to make a call...
12/3/2006 4:34:57 AM
not if it's on the Verizon network....Are you there..., Good!
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
AT&T Tempts Customers with $39 U-Verse TV, HBO, Internet, and Amazon Prime Bundle
September 23, 2014, 10:15 AM
46 Percent of Apple’s Mobile Devices Already Running iOS 8
September 23, 2014, 9:48 AM
Die Shots Confirm A8 Packs Six PowerVR "Rogue" GPU Clusters
September 22, 2014, 4:05 PM
WSJ: Yes, HTC Nexus 9 ("Babel") is Incoming
September 22, 2014, 4:00 PM
Quick Note: Flagship BlackBerry Passport Smartphone to be Priced at $599 Unsubsidized
September 22, 2014, 3:31 PM
ChipWorks Confirms Apple's iPhone A8 SoC Switch to TSMC
September 22, 2014, 1:41 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
Home Depot Credit Card Theft is the Biggest in History, 55 Million Cards Stolen
September 18, 2014, 7:53 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information