Building a better Ecuadorian embassy bug

So I have seen the tweets and the mentions of Ecuador embassy bug in my rss. As I was scrolling thu my google plus I noticed that The Hacker News posted a picture of the bug in question.



The bug is purportedly made by an outfit called “surveillance group limited” well the more I looked at this picture the more I wanted to pop an email off to them and ask them…. “DAFUQ is that?”

Really… I could do better than that with a Raspberry pi.

So now I present to you ways to make a F.O.S.S. bug..

This is parts of a presentation I never presented anywhere. It’s not quite done but read thu it and you will see how easy this is to implement. I really wish the folks from Ecuador would go all wikileaks up in this bitch and post some high res pics of the bug. What ever…

So lets start with a Rpi.

    • types of bugs: http://www.tscm.com/typebug.html
    • Hardwired: Hardwired is just tapping a line. Easy peesy, add some extra wires & your golden.
    • Soft wire or REMOBS (remote observations):  Telco taps, software “modification” at Telco’s.


    • Recorder tap: anything ranging from a simple sound recorder to voice activated usb sticks.

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 1.44.33 AM

    • RF transmit taps: Classic transmitter/receiver “as seen on TV” taps.


Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 1.47.24 AM

    • Hardware: Raspberry Pi, oDroid, MK802 family, arduino and beagle boards.
    • OS:  Armel, ArmHf linux spins.
    • Software: Sox, ZoneMinder, I2P, cron, Delay Tolerant Networking (DTNRG), mod_security, ssh over Tor and CRYPTO!


    • Prefer the mk802 due to size but choose the Raspberry Pi due to rich development and standardize chipset and default support for linux.

Here is a mini wifi dongle…

Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter with EZmax Setup Wizard

But in the case of the embassy bug there is this..

HUAWEI E220 3G WWAN HSDPA UTMS USB MODEM 7.2M There is several options here. I posted the Huawei for lulz cause it’s huawei after all..

One reason I have never tried to do a presentation on this is my lack of funding for R&D. However I have done a bit of research. Any how this little device would be bad ass to have. It’s a 3G GPRS shield all ready to go for the Rpi…




EZOPower 5000mAh 2-Port USB Universal External Rechargeable Backup Battery for CellPhone, PDA Mobile Phone, Ebook, MP3 Players and More-Silver

Now you need to load up Kali for the Raspberry Pi. Then after that run this little script ASAP.


Now install sox.

sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins libasound2-python libsox-fmt-all

sudo apt-get install sox


    • Mic/cams. http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals
    • Set up sox to detect sound and record.  pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sox -t alsa default ./record.flac silence 1 0.1 5% 1 2.0 5%
    • Six sets of numbers: First three audio input, second three detect silence.
    • First Three numbers: The first digit  “1” is default for silence. The second digits (ie: 0.1 one tenth of a second) will start recording soon as sound is detected. Therefor this value should be something like 0.2.  The last is the percentage of the decibel  detection “5%” wear as 1% is a pin drop and 7% is a cough.
    • The last three set of numberers:  Again the first digit is “1” for silence.  The second is the the duration of silence ie: 1.0 is one second.  I like this value to be around 5.0 or longer for people who stop, then resume talking in a conversation.  The third and last value (say 5%) correlates with the last number in and that if the decibel’s drop below 5% for 5.0 seconds the recording stops. Vital to uploading and storage limitations.

This is some other shit I havent got around to fucking with…. But in the case of bugging an embassy I think would be a really good idea to do.. HA!

Now you can run a cron job to auto upload the recordings to IDK a remote server in Russia. You can force the recordings to upload over TOR for deniability if you want… For the situation of course all this can be added to… Zonminder to takes some pics and so on.

The bigest problem I have run in to is power. I thought this would be rad to do… http://hackaday.com/2013/07/03/perfect-wall-mounted-tablet-integration/ That project mentions inductive charging. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging otherwise  one would need to tap in to the local power for long use. The power is a huge hurdle.


Ok so there is the Raspberry Pi idea. Even tho that’s smaller than the embassy bug lets try and go smaller!


So all that stuff would cost alot right? How about you just use a off the shelf Android phone and some apps? Now say if your serious about this you can use a defined model of a phone. Like the Rpi you have the benefit of knowing the hardware and drivers. also you can have TOR start at boot. Very fun and very disposable. Shit… I would bet 42 bitcoins ”surveillance group limited” charged out the ass for that bulky ass thing.

I think it be fun to put a cheapy phone behind a picture then auto upload them to dropbox. After that create a stream with https://ifttt.com/dashboard to display them on a screen close by. The delay would bring some LuLz to guest… Sort of like a twist on DriftNet or http://www.jwz.org/webcollage/


Now there are a few apps that do this already. In my experience these apps are hit and miss from device to device. No matter what 1Ggz cpu and a large SD is a must… I have tried messing with a MK802 and there ilk but have concluded a off the shelf phone is more time and cost effective.


Camera Trigger (Motion Detect)

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 2.47.23 AM


I have found this app to be some fun. I left it in my front window running on my Nexus 7 my kids broke the screen on for a few days.  You can upload to gmail or dropbox. I uploaded the pics to a sock puppet dropbox account and easily checked them via Tor and on occasion a VPN.


Sound Detector

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 2.45.55 AM


Pretty self explanatory in the description..

Use your Android as a remote audio surveillance device.

“This program uses the built-in microphone to detect noise in the surrounding area. If it detects noise it alerts you by making a call or sending a text message to another cell phone.”

There are a shit ton of these type apps in the play store but this one works well for me. Set up the app.. Set sensitivity and how it will dial via SMS or regular call. Drop a burner phone in location. Use another burner phone. Cost.. probably a little over 300.00. But again power, power, power. In my test runs and research it always comes back to the power. The added benefit of a Rpi is you have Kali Linux.


Any who… yea that device they found in the embassy. I would love to get the specs and hi-res pics on it… You know for transparency sake. ;-)


I think it be cool if there was a github type project for a device like this. That way people could collaborate and make it better. Especially with the Rpi. A CLI menu would be rad but any who yea…


I have found that this little device that i like to call a dumb bug is super effective. Small looks like a USB dongle and power last for about  2 days. Unfortunately it dosen’t trigger when there is a sound. Those type cost way more but then again this one is super cheap.





One final note: The NSA spys on everyone unchecked. It’s wrong. It violates the 4th amendment and it’s a slippery slope. When we become use to it then what will surprise and enrage us next? All that said it is illegal to record people in most states. Some state’s wire tapping laws allow for one person to know (the recorder) that there is a tap. But those state are few and it’s mostly based on case law.   So… don’t do stupid shit cause I won’t write you or have pity on you when Bubba shows you a new use for butter..


Hit me up on twitter if ya want.. 

LULZY Update: Ecuador embassy bug unlikely to be work of security services, say experts



Share Button

Comments are closed.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed
Hackers For Charity