CAPEC Details
Name Eavesdropping
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
Low Medium
Summary An adversary intercepts a form of communication (e.g. text, audio, video) by way of software (e.g., microphone and audio recording application), hardware (e.g., recording equipment), or physical means (e.g., physical proximity). The goal of eavesdropping is typically to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information about the target for financial, personal, political, or other gains. Eavesdropping is different from a sniffing attack as it does not take place on a network-based communication channel (e.g., IP traffic). Instead, it entails listening in on the raw audio source of a conversation between two or more parties.
Prerequisites The adversary typically requires physical proximity to the target's environment, whether for physical eavesdropping or for placing recording equipment. This is not always the case for software-based eavesdropping, if the adversary has the capability to install malware on the target system that can activate a microphone and record audio digitally.
Solutions Be mindful of your surroundings when discussing sensitive information in public areas. Implement proper software restriction policies to only allow authorized software on your environment. Use of anti-virus and other security monitoring and detecting tools can aid in this too. Closely monitor installed software for unusual behavior or activity, and implement patches as soon as they become available. If possible, physically disable the microphone on your machine if it is not needed.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-200 Exposure of Sensitive Information to an Unauthorized Actor
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-117 An adversary monitors data streams to or from the target for information gathering purposes. This attack may be undertaken to solely gather sensitive information or to support a further attack against the target. This attack pattern can involve sniffing network traffic as well as other types of data streams (e.g. radio). The adversary can attempt to initiate the establishment of a data stream or passively observe the communications as they unfold. In all variants of this attack, the adversary is not the intended recipient of the data stream. In contrast to other means of gathering information (e.g., targeting data leaks), the adversary must actively position themself so as to observe explicit data channels (e.g. network traffic) and read the content. However, this attack differs from a Man-In-the-Middle (MITM) attack, as the adversary does not alter the content of the communications nor forward data to the intended recipient.