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KGB microphones
Miniature KGB/FSB microphones

This page shows a number of miniature microphones that were used by Soviet security services like the GRU and the KGB, and probably also by the latter's successor, the FSB. They were used for overhearing and recording conversations in a room, commonly as part of wired or wireless covert listening devices (bugs). They are relatively large compared to today's miniature microphones.

During the Cold War, Soviet intelligence services placed microphones in any hotel room that was known to be used by Western diplomats, so that compromising intelligence could be gathered.

The image on the right show three different types of KGB microphones that have recently (re)surfaced (2018). The one at the left is the largest, but is also the most sensitive one. It has a rather large cylindrical sound port at the front that can be attached to a plastic or wooden tube, allowing it to be hidden deep inside a wall where it could not be discovered with a metal detector.
  
Three different sizes of KGB microphones

The wiring was usually embedded deeply inside the wall, or hidden inside existing infrastructure, such as the metal pipes of the heating system. As a result, it was generally difficult to discover the micro­phones and their wiring, making it one of the most effective methods of eavesdropping.


Compared with today's ultra-minature MEMS microphones, such as the ones made by Knowles in the USA, the KGB microphones shown here are relatively large. Nevertheless, they could still be a serious threat today — especially when they are appropriately hidden — and they are sometimes even more sensitive than their electronic equivalents, not least because of their larger membrane.

Three different KGB microphones Three different sizes of KGB microphones Microphone Type 1 Microphone Type 1 Largest microphone Wire connection and serial number Looking into the sound port Microphone Type 3
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Three different KGB microphones
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Three different sizes of KGB microphones
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Microphone Type 1
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Microphone Type 1
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Largest microphone
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Wire connection and serial number
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Looking into the sound port
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Microphone Type 3

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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 10 December 2018. Last changed: Tuesday, 02 July 2019 - 15:06 CET.
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