Browse Definitions :
Definition

hot mic (roving bug)

A hot mic, in a mobile security context, is a smartphone microphone that has been remotely activated  for surveillance purposes. The device is sometimes referred to as a “roving bug.”

 In 2014, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that government and intelligence community representatives could remotely activate a target smartphone’s microphone without causing any device behaviors that might alert the user. To do so, agency employees used a tool called “Nosey Smurf” from a collection of smartphone hacking and spyware tools known as the Smurf suite. The software was introduced through a type of hidden and encrypted SMS message.  The malware toolkit includes other programs that enable precise device geolocation, eavesdropping and data access, along with the ability to avoid detection.

 The possibility of hot miking has been discussed for years. In a 2006 post, security expert Bruce Schneier speculated that it might be used for surveillance and that data gathered would likely considered  admissable for use in court. He also quoted a 2004 BBC article stating that smartphones were routinely used as “powerful, undetectable bugs” by intelligence communities. Due to imprecise wording of federal wiretapping law, data gathered not only from cellphone calls but also from conversations conducted near a cellphone may be admissible in court.

In general, a hot mic is just a microphone that’s turned on. The reference is usually to someone speaking nearby who is unaware that the mic is live. The term originates from broadcast media and live events in which a speaker has made inappropriate comments thinking that the microphone was turned off.

This was last updated in June 2016

Continue Reading About hot mic (roving bug)

SearchNetworking
  • cloud-native network function (CNF)

    A cloud-native network function (CNF) is a service that performs network duties in software, as opposed to purpose-built hardware.

  • Wi-Fi 6E

    Wi-Fi 6E is one variant of the 802.11ax standard.

  • microsegmentation

    Microsegmentation is a security technique that splits a network into definable zones and uses policies to dictate how data and ...

SearchSecurity
  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology invented in the 1950s that's used to verify the legitimacy or ...

  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Android System WebView

    Android System WebView is a system component for the Android operating system (OS) that allows Android apps to display web ...

SearchCIO
  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • product development (new product development -- NPD)

    Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

SearchHRSoftware
  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

  • hybrid work model

    A hybrid work model is a workforce structure that includes employees who work remotely and those who work on site, in a company's...

SearchCustomerExperience
  • Salesforce Trailhead

    Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to ...

  • Salesforce

    Salesforce, Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco.

  • data clean room

    A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with ...

Close