I did a quick teardown of one of the inexpensive USB "spy cables" that have hidden microphones & geolocation capabilities. I soon realized the backend controls were horribly insecure and allowed anyone to monitor all of the cables in use. That's when I bumped into Mich and learned he had started down this rabbit hole a few months earlier and was in the middle of trying to disclose the situation.
Security Research by Mich:
Decided to get one of those USB spy cables with hidden microphone & GPS cell tracker. Noticed a few things... (1/n) pic.twitter.com/9wJn6l6FHq— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017
the antenna is a very compact sticker. Barely noticeable here (on the black case) (2/n) pic.twitter.com/EWRfldhWP0— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017
Here is the antenna removed so you can more clearly see the design. I am going to steal this. (3/n) pic.twitter.com/0jzGJR171l— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017
Other side of the board with microphone (upper left) and the SIM slot. (4/n) pic.twitter.com/kx4gTPEa1T— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017
And I like this riser for the USB contacts that uses castellated solder points. I'm also stealing this. Normally people just make the whole PCB really thick. (5/n) pic.twitter.com/tzlTONbJmw— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017
(7/6) info for those asking: $10 on Amazon, aliexpress, etc. There are many forms: cigarette lighter adapters, small battery powered boxes, hard wired, and small boards for adding to your own electronics. pic.twitter.com/z5D7QqRu5U— MG (@_MG_) December 10, 2017