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Bluetooth and eavesdropping.

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posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 06:21 PM
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Interesting topic. There may well be ways to get into a Bluetooth stream. As has been posted upstream, most BT devices are pretty low power, you couldn't do it at a distance. However, I don't want to do it at a distance, I want to

Getting a "binky" (love that term) to switch on and send you a mic stream might actually be possible. You may also be able to "join" a piconet with a phone and a "binky" and get the phone to drop the encryption by issuing some confusing responses to arbitration.

Oddly, we're investigating that now. It's not a front-burner project, tho. If I can push the current projects off the table I get to play with BT headsets. Bluetooth as a whole CAN implement pretty strong security, how the individual devices fare is another matter. Personally, I'm betting that either the "binky" will let me join it as a secondary master in a separate piconet from the phone, yet get the phone audio streams, or that I can join the phone/binky piconet and arbitrate for dropping the encryption. Given that most of the phone guys haven't really had someone try to crash their security stack yet, I'm also betting you could fling some malformed stuff at them and get it to execute data.

I have the BT source that some of the guys are using. If I get a chance to try this, I'll let you know.




posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 05:26 PM
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You can always open up the headset yourself and see if the switch closes the circuit. Something battery powered wouldn't last very long if transmitting over a long range, so for it to do so, it would probably have to be transmitting to something on your property. It's not a big concern. I would worry about unsecured wireless router connections though, it's easy to get in through those (as in sometimes all you need to do is be in range and Windows sets it up automatically).



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 10:24 PM
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Excellent information guys! Thanks. I make it a point not to use my "blinky" other than when driving so if anyone was listening they probably would stop as soon as they heard me singing.



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by 40Water
Excellent information guys! Thanks. I make it a point not to use my "blinky" other than when driving so if anyone was listening they probably would stop as soon as they heard me singing.


I believe that driving or use in an office (to keep one's hands free for work) is the only valid reason for using a bluetooth. People who walk about town, resturants, etc. . . with this thing in their ear are only trying to look impressive or else they have a real addiction to the thing. Hence the binky remark.

I am sure that if someone wanted to utilize the transmitter or receiver on the bluetooth to pick up your conversations "off phone", they would find a way. The equipment for this would probably be too expensive for the average prankster.

I have since found out that I have no headphone jack on my cell phone but I can pick up FM radio signals with it if I have a bluetooth. So some of these folks just may be listening to tunes. The phone, whether land line or cell is my slave not vice versa.



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by 40Water

Originally posted by tokenblonde
I have heard that the 'on star' systems in cars can be activated to listen to what is being said in the car without the driver being aware of it. and law enforcement has used cellphone survalence to listen thru the phone when the owners thought it was powered down. Some folks are removing the batteries to help assure privacy.
I also wonder about all those cable boxes in our homes. I think they have the technologies to be able to watch and listen and send that info back through the cable wires to the powers that be. Am I paranoid? I don't think so.
I go to a luncheon for retired telecommunication staff every month. These guys helped build the infrastucture for the phone/cable/internet. They talk about the government installing devices into the main switch boxes and other places way back in the 60's and 70's. They tell me they were all over the place and still are there. Be carefull what you say..........they are always listening.


This is the only thing I was refering to. The Bluetooth headset being similar to the OnStar system. Can they listen to your conversation if you are NOT on a call? Just by intercepting your conversation through the headset. I never asked can they intercept your call through your headset while you're on a call.
That's common sense.

As far as any comments re: "blinkys" or if you told someone to leave your house because of their cell phone, who cares. No one asked for your opinion re: your views on peoples cell phone habits.


And you gotta love the people that think they know it all because "a friend" told them.

I still haven't see one post on here that explains why they can or can not intercept your personal conversation via Bluetooth when you are NOT on a call. Telling someone to take out the battery is common #ing sense. That wasn't the question.


If your Bluetooth is on, and your cell phone is in range, then technically it could be remote activated. If you wish to talk about stuff that you shouldn't over a phone, your best bet is a pre paid phone w/ no contract to ID the user.



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by GT100FV

Originally posted by 40Water

Originally posted by tokenblonde
I have heard that the 'on star' systems in cars can be activated to listen to what is being said in the car without the driver being aware of it. and law enforcement has used cellphone survalence to listen thru the phone when the owners thought it was powered down. Some folks are removing the batteries to help assure privacy.
I also wonder about all those cable boxes in our homes. I think they have the technologies to be able to watch and listen and send that info back through the cable wires to the powers that be. Am I paranoid? I don't think so.
I go to a luncheon for retired telecommunication staff every month. These guys helped build the infrastucture for the phone/cable/internet. They talk about the government installing devices into the main switch boxes and other places way back in the 60's and 70's. They tell me they were all over the place and still are there. Be carefull what you say..........they are always listening.


This is the only thing I was refering to. The Bluetooth headset being similar to the OnStar system. Can they listen to your conversation if you are NOT on a call? Just by intercepting your conversation through the headset. I never asked can they intercept your call through your headset while you're on a call.
That's common sense.

As far as any comments re: "blinkys" or if you told someone to leave your house because of their cell phone, who cares. No one asked for your opinion re: your views on peoples cell phone habits.


And you gotta love the people that think they know it all because "a friend" told them.

I still haven't see one post on here that explains why they can or can not intercept your personal conversation via Bluetooth when you are NOT on a call. Telling someone to take out the battery is common #ing sense. That wasn't the question.


If your Bluetooth is on, and your cell phone is in range, then technically it could be remote activated. If you wish to talk about stuff that you shouldn't over a phone, your best bet is a pre paid phone w/ no contract to ID the user.


Exactly. Also I didn't think of the remote turn on theory. 99% of the time my phone is in range of my headset.



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 07:39 PM
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FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

They can listen to everything you say even while your cell phone is off!! You must remove the battery to prevent this type of eavesdropping!!

And they can use your landline phone to listen to everything in the room, even while its on the hook!!

Plus, a number of cable boxes have hidden piezoelectric microphones hidden in them!!



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by sp00n1
FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

They can listen to everything you say even while your cell phone is off!! You must remove the battery to prevent this type of eavesdropping!!

And they can use your landline phone to listen to everything in the room, even while its on the hook!!

Plus, a number of cable boxes have hidden piezoelectric microphones hidden in them!!



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by sp00n1
FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

They can listen to everything you say even while your cell phone is off!! You must remove the battery to prevent this type of eavesdropping!!

And they can use your landline phone to listen to everything in the room, even while its on the hook!!

Plus, a number of cable boxes have hidden piezoelectric microphones hidden in them!!


There was a rumor going round a few years back that if your phone rang, but no one was on the other end, your phone was being activated as a listening device. I was told that the only way to counteract this was to unplug all phones then plug them back in after 15 minuets.

I tried this once on a lark. Five minuets after plugging the phones back in, I received another call with no one on the other end. That kind of freaked me out. So I unplugged them again for another fifteen. Five minuets later, another call with no one on the other end. I finally just put radios by each phone and when they would ring with no one on the other end, I'd turn the radios on. I stopped getting the calls after about a month.

A few years later, someone told me the phone calss were probably from an automated marketing group that sends calls out to determin when people are at home. All I know was the whole situation had me pretty paranoid for a while.



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 09:22 PM
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I've been selling cell phones for about a year, and bluetooth headets along with them. Let me assure you that this is most definitely not an issue.

For a bluetooth headset (or any other bluetooth device) to work with a phone, it must first be "paired". The Bluetooth device must be put into a special mode where it transmits a signal letting other bluetooth devices know it is open for business. Then, the phone must also transmit a pairing signal. When those two signals are found, the phone transmits a pin code to the device cementing the connection.

In other words, I hold down the button on my bluetooth until it confirms it is in pairing mode (usually indicated by the bluetooth's light going from blinking mode to steady). Then, the phone must search for the device. Unless the device is transmitting the pairing signal, it cannot be found. When it is found, I tell my phone to pair with the device. then I enter the pin. Then the two are permanently paired.

Most phones can be paired with about 6 devices at once. It is also possible to hook up two bluetooth phones in order to transfer data (mp3s, pictures, etc.) However, unless the phone itself goes into search mode, then it cannot hook up with any bluetooth device.

The biggest thing my cutomers ask about is range. Bluetooth devices are notorious for having almost no range whatsoever. The best one I've found has about a 15-20 foot range, and starts to get scratchy at about 3-5 feet.

Is it possible? Yes. Likely? No.




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