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Covert listening devices

This part of the website is dedicated to small devices that are used to covertly record or intercept a conversation. Such devices are commonly known as bugs and are usually hidden inside the room where a conversation takes place, but may also be hidden inside a wall or work through it.

According to Wikipedia, a bug is a covert listening device [1]. Although many bugs have a built-in transmitter (radio bug), this is by no means mandatory. They can also be wire-based (wire bugs) or connected to existing devices (wire tap bugs). Some bugs are in fact recording devices that are collected after the conversation has taken place. Some modern bugs have a built-in video camera and a TV-transmitter, allowing the conversation to be viewed in a nearby room as well. Some devices are available from commercial shops and websites, such as The Spy Shop and eBay, whilst others are made especially for government agencies and are not available to the general public.
Bugs on this website
The Thing, also known as The Great Seal Bug, planted by the USSR in the office of the American Ambassador. British resonant cavity microphone, similar to The Thing Secret CIA research project to develop Passive Bugs, carried out by the NRP in The Netherlands Transistorized Russian bug used by the KGB around 1964 Soviet bug inside IBM Selectric typewriter - Operation GUNMAN Simple commercial and self-build FM radio bugs Spy-Shop PS-006 Ballpoint Bug with free-running FM transmitter Spy-Shop PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug with free-running FM transmitter
Telephone microphone radio bug Subminiture transmitter that can be hidden in the knot of a necktie A.T.E.T. S-35 subminiature covert listening transmitter (radio bug) Audiotel SCX subcarrier radio bug Professional crystal-based Mactron FM radio bug Mactron Mark II bug with built-in microphone pre-amplifier Mactron Beacon for tracking and tracing Telephone line bug based on a Mactron FM transmitter
Dummy bug, formed by a silicium ciode, in the shape of a hockey puck Audiotel MCX Power Line Bug Professional RF bug hidden inside the enclosure of a power adapter Audiotel wall probe microphone with extremely sensitive amplifier Czechoslovakian radio bug Sophisticated masked subcarrier bug found at an OPEC conference in the late 1970s

Bug receivers
Rohde & Schwarz EB-100 portable surveillance receiver Czechoslovakian VHF or UHF bug receiver

 Index of bugs
 Bug finding equipment

Help us expand this section
This section of the website is by no means finished or complete. We are still looking for additional bugs to expand our collection and show them on the website. We are particularly interested in bugs that were used by the Stasi, the secret police of the former DDR (East Germany). If you have any bugs or related devices that are not shown here, please contact us.

Four different versions. From front to rear: the original Mactron, the Beacon, the Mark II and a prototype of the Mark III

  1. Wikipedia, Covert listening device
    Retrieved April 2013.

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 29 April 2013. Last changed: Friday, 06 January 2017 - 20:47 CET.
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