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
You guys are shocked at this?
12/4/2006 10:50:12 AM
Honestly, after reading through comments here -- the only thing about this article that shocks me is the comments where people seem shocked that this is going on.
While I'm in the same ball park as those who generally believe ...well if I keep my nose clean I have nothing to worry about, I certainly don't like the rather uncomfortable trend that technology is undoubtly going to lead us to.
A lot of the stuff we first think is BS in the movies where people track folks using satellites and you seem them just pick a house and they can see throught he walls and stuff and actually watches a woman take a shower or whatever the case maybe. One day, if its not the case already today -- I can honestly see that being reality.
Not to be crude -- but I don't much mind when I'm in a public place and a camera is on me...but I do mind a "bit" when I'm (gonna use a clean term) "making love" to my girl or in the case of this cell phone business they are listening in to some steamy talk....I'd feel a little bit upset if I found out that kind of spying was going on.....
....after all I'd want a copy of that material for my own review.......or at least a cut of the profits. ;)
RE: You guys are shocked at this?
12/5/2006 5:23:11 AM
I'm wondering if the cell phone manufacturers will now fix this bug in their phones. People aren't going to buy them if the government can all of a sudden hack into their phones and listen to their conversations.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Quick Note: Moto X Gets Mad for the Month of March
March 7, 2014, 5:14 PM
Staples Closing 225 Stores Across North America
March 7, 2014, 1:24 PM
HP Launches $170, 8" Android Tablet
March 7, 2014, 8:09 AM
Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton Stepping Down
March 6, 2014, 8:52 PM
Apple Won't Let UK Sons Unlock Their Deceased Mother's iPad
March 6, 2014, 12:44 PM
Benchmarks for NVIDIA Tegra K1 Hit the web
March 6, 2014, 8:57 AM
Most Popular Articles
Facebook Kills Popular Messenger App for PCs
March 1, 2014, 4:01 PM
Mt. Gox Bitcoin CEO Can't Stifle Grin as he Bows in Apology for Bankruptcy
February 28, 2014, 5:00 PM
Bitcoin King: Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès' History of Arrests, Firings
March 5, 2014, 9:05 AM
Two More Microsoft Executives Leaving the Company
March 3, 2014, 4:38 PM
USAF Moves Forward With Long Range Bomber Program Despite Budget Crunch
March 4, 2014, 9:44 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information