Skip to content

T1429 Audio Capture

Adversaries may capture audio to collect information by leveraging standard operating system APIs of a mobile device. Examples of audio information adversaries may target include user conversations, surroundings, phone calls, or other sensitive information.

Android and iOS, by default, require that applications request device microphone access from the user.

On Android devices, applications must hold the RECORD_AUDIO permission to access the microphone or the CAPTURE_AUDIO_OUTPUT permission to access audio output. Because Android does not allow third-party applications to hold the CAPTURE_AUDIO_OUTPUT permission by default, only privileged applications, such as those distributed by Google or the device vendor, can access audio output.3 However, adversaries may be able to gain this access after successfully elevating their privileges. With the CAPTURE_AUDIO_OUTPUT permission, adversaries may pass the MediaRecorder.AudioSource.VOICE_CALL constant to MediaRecorder.setAudioOutput, allowing capture of both voice call uplink and downlink.1

On iOS devices, applications must include the NSMicrophoneUsageDescription key in their Info.plist file to access the microphone.2

Item Value
ID T1429
Tactics TA0035
Platforms Android, iOS
Version 3.1
Created 25 October 2017
Last Modified 16 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S1061 AbstractEmu AbstractEmu can grant itself microphone permissions.27
S0292 AndroRAT AndroRAT gathers audio from the microphone.23
S0422 Anubis Anubis can record phone calls and audio.38
S0655 BusyGasper BusyGasper can record audio.15
S0529 CarbonSteal CarbonSteal can remotely capture device audio.16
S0425 Corona Updates Corona Updates can record MP4 files and monitor calls.9
S0301 Dendroid Dendroid can record audio and outgoing calls.21
S0505 Desert Scorpion Desert Scorpion can record audio from phone calls and the device microphone.22
S0550 DoubleAgent DoubleAgent has captured audio and can record phone calls.16
S0320 DroidJack DroidJack is capable of recording device phone calls.8
S0507 eSurv eSurv can record audio.13
S0405 Exodus Exodus Two can record audio from the compromised device’s microphone and can record call audio in 3GP format.17
S0182 FinFisher FinFisher uses the device microphone to record phone conversations.10
S0408 FlexiSpy FlexiSpy can record both incoming and outgoing phone calls, as well as microphone audio.7
S0577 FrozenCell FrozenCell has recorded calls.35
S0535 Golden Cup Golden Cup can record audio from the microphone and phone calls.14
S0551 GoldenEagle GoldenEagle has recorded calls and environment audio in .amr format.16
S0421 GolfSpy GolfSpy can record audio and phone calls.24
S0544 HenBox HenBox can access the device’s microphone.31
S0407 Monokle Monokle can record audio from the device’s microphone and can record phone calls, specifying the output audio quality.11
S0399 Pallas Pallas captures audio from the device microphone.10
S0316 Pegasus for Android Pegasus for Android has the ability to record device audio.34
S0289 Pegasus for iOS Pegasus for iOS has the ability to record audio.33
S0295 RCSAndroid RCSAndroid can record audio using the device microphone.19
S0326 RedDrop RedDrop captures live recordings of the device’s surroundings.18
S0327 Skygofree Skygofree can record audio via the microphone when an infected device is in a specified location.25
S0324 SpyDealer SpyDealer can record phone calls and surrounding audio.28
S0305 SpyNote RAT SpyNote RAT can activate the victim’s microphone.39
S0328 Stealth Mango Stealth Mango can record audio using the device microphone.32
S0329 Tangelo Tangelo contains functionality to record calls as well as the victim device’s environment.32
S1069 TangleBot TangleBot can record audio using the device microphone.37
S0558 Tiktok Pro Tiktok Pro can capture audio from the device’s microphone and can record phone calls.26
S0418 ViceLeaker ViceLeaker can record audio from the device’s microphone and can record phone calls together with the caller ID.2930
S0506 ViperRAT ViperRAT can collect and record audio content.12
G0112 Windshift Windshift has included phone call and audio recording capabilities in the malicious apps deployed as part of Operation BULL and Operation ROCK.40
S0489 WolfRAT WolfRAT can record call audio.20
S0318 XLoader for Android XLoader for Android covertly records phone calls.36


ID Mitigation Description
M1006 Use Recent OS Version Android 9 and above restricts access to microphone, camera, and other sensors from background applications.6
M1011 User Guidance Users should be wary of granting applications dangerous or privacy-intrusive permissions, such as access to microphone or audio output.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0041 Application Vetting Permissions Requests
DS0042 User Interface System Settings


  1. Android Developers. (2022, March 17). Voice Call. Retrieved April 1, 2022. 

  2. Apple Developers. (n.d.). Requesting Authorization for Media Capture on iOS. Retrieved April 1, 2022. 

  3. Google. (2021, August 11). Manifest.permission. Retrieved September 22, 2021. 

  4. Google. (n.d.). Privacy Indicators. Retrieved April 20, 2022. 

  5. ZecOps Research Team. (2021, November 4). How iOS Malware Can Spy on Users Silently. Retrieved April 1, 2022. 

  6. Android Developers. (, January). Android 9+ Privacy Changes . Retrieved August 27, 2019. 

  7. Actis B. (2017, April 22). FlexSpy Application Analysis. Retrieved September 4, 2019. 

  8. Viral Gandhi. (2017, January 12). Super Mario Run Malware #2 – DroidJack RAT. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 

  9. T. Bao, J. Lu. (2020, April 14). Coronavirus Update App Leads to Project Spy Android and iOS Spyware. Retrieved April 24, 2020. 

  10. Blaich, A., et al. (2018, January 18). Dark Caracal: Cyber-espionage at a Global Scale. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 

  11. Bauer A., Kumar A., Hebeisen C., et al. (2019, July). Monokle: The Mobile Surveillance Tooling of the Special Technology Center. Retrieved September 4, 2019. 

  12. M. Flossman. (2017, February 16). ViperRAT: The mobile APT targeting the Israeli Defense Force that should be on your radar. Retrieved September 11, 2020. 

  13. A. Bauer. (2019, April 8). Lookout discovers phishing sites distributing new iOS and Android surveillanceware. Retrieved September 11, 2020. 

  14. R. Iarchy, E. Rynkowski. (2018, July 5). GoldenCup: New Cyber Threat Targeting World Cup Fans. Retrieved October 29, 2020. 

  15. Alexey Firsh. (2018, August 29). BusyGasper – the unfriendly spy. Retrieved October 1, 2021. 

  16. A. Kumar, K. Del Rosso, J. Albrecht, C. Hebeisen. (2020, June 1). Mobile APT Surveillance Campaigns Targeting Uyghurs - A collection of long-running Android tooling connected to a Chinese mAPT actor. Retrieved November 10, 2020. 

  17. Security Without Borders. (2019, March 29). Exodus: New Android Spyware Made in Italy. Retrieved September 3, 2019. 

  18. Nell Campbell. (2018, February 27). RedDrop: the blackmailing mobile malware family lurking in app stores. Retrieved September 18, 2018. 

  19. Veo Zhang. (2015, July 21). Hacking Team RCSAndroid Spying Tool Listens to Calls; Roots Devices to Get In. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 

  20. W. Mercer, P. Rascagneres, V. Ventura. (2020, May 19). The wolf is back… . Retrieved July 20, 2020. 

  21. Marc Rogers. (2014, March 6). Dendroid malware can take over your camera, record audio, and sneak into Google Play. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 

  22. A. Blaich, M. Flossman. (2018, April 16). Lookout finds new surveillanceware in Google Play with ties to known threat actor targeting the Middle East. Retrieved September 11, 2020. 

  23. Lookout. (2016, May 25). 5 active mobile threats spoofing enterprise apps. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 

  24. E. Xu, G. Guo. (2019, June 28). Mobile Cyberespionage Campaign ‘Bouncing Golf’ Affects Middle East. Retrieved January 27, 2020. 

  25. Nikita Buchka and Alexey Firsh. (2018, January 16). Skygofree: Following in the footsteps of HackingTeam. Retrieved September 24, 2018. 

  26. S. Desai. (2020, September 8). TikTok Spyware. Retrieved January 5, 2021. 

  27. P Shunk, K Balaam. (2021, October 28). Rooting Malware Makes a Comeback: Lookout Discovers Global Campaign. Retrieved February 6, 2023. 

  28. Wenjun Hu, Cong Zheng and Zhi Xu. (2017, July 6). SpyDealer: Android Trojan Spying on More Than 40 Apps. Retrieved September 18, 2018. 

  29. GReAT. (2019, June 26). ViceLeaker Operation: mobile espionage targeting Middle East. Retrieved November 21, 2019. 

  30. L. Arsene, C. Ochinca. (2018, August 20). Triout – Spyware Framework for Android with Extensive Surveillance Capabilities. Retrieved January 21, 2020. 

  31. A. Hinchliffe, M. Harbison, J. Miller-Osborn, et al. (2018, March 13). HenBox: The Chickens Come Home to Roost. Retrieved September 9, 2019. 

  32. Lookout. (n.d.). Stealth Mango & Tangelo. Retrieved September 27, 2018. 

  33. Lookout. (2016). Technical Analysis of Pegasus Spyware. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 

  34. Mike Murray. (2017, April 3). Pegasus for Android: the other side of the story emerges. Retrieved April 16, 2017. 

  35. Michael Flossman. (2017, October 5). FrozenCell: Multi-platform surveillance campaign against Palestinians. Retrieved November 11, 2020. 

  36. Lorin Wu. (2018, April 19). XLoader Android Spyware and Banking Trojan Distributed via DNS Spoofing. Retrieved July 6, 2018. 

  37. Felipe Naves, Andrew Conway, W. Stuart Jones, Adam McNeil . (2021, September 23). TangleBot: New Advanced SMS Malware Targets Mobile Users Across U.S. and Canada with COVID-19 Lures. Retrieved February 28, 2023. 

  38. M. Feller. (2020, February 5). Infostealer, Keylogger, and Ransomware in One: Anubis Targets More than 250 Android Applications. Retrieved April 8, 2020. 

  39. Shivang Desai. (2017, January 23). SpyNote RAT posing as Netflix app. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 

  40. The BlackBerry Research & Intelligence Team. (2020, October). BAHAMUT: Hack-for-Hire Masters of Phishing, Fake News, and Fake Apps. Retrieved February 8, 2021.