Stop Bugging Me

The espionage game once spawned plenty of cool spy gear, like poison-tipped umbrellas and recording devices disguised as ballpoint pens. But it's all getting so low-rent. Corporate spies are now using ordinary cell phones as cheap eavesdropping devices. Phones switched to idle and silent mode and set to answer calls automatically can be "accidentally" left behind in an office—when a spook excuses himself from a meeting to use the bathroom, for example—and activated remotely from another handset, allowing the user to listen in without the occupants' knowledge. The scam is more cunning than it sounds: So-called "bug sweepers" that reveal the...

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