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Suppose I have a cellphone in my pocket, and it is running a malicious app or malicious code, and I am having an in-person conversation with another person. Is it possible for my phone to capture my voice and eavesdrop on the conversation I am having, while my phone is in my pocket?

Let's assume that there is malware on my phone that can enable the microphone and record audio. I don't know whether what I'm saying will be intelligible or if it will be too muffled, if my phone is in my pocket while I'm recording. And, I don't know whether it is possible to use signal processing techniques to reconstruct what I'm saying. I am trying to do a risk assessment, and I am not clear on what is the level of sensitivity of smartphone microphones and capabilities of signal processing.

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    You can test it yourself: open the voice recorder app for your phone, put it to record, put on the pocket and have a conversation with yourself.
    – ThoriumBR
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 0:45
  • I'm not sure if this is about malware. This sounds more like an audio engineering question. You are asking if the mic on an unspecified phone in an undefined physical environment could pick up enough audio signal to be interpreted and if audio engineering could analyse this imagined audio signal to clean up the signal. I've received enough "butt dials" to suggest that it's certainly possible without needing to understand the mechanics involved, but there are too many factors to consider. And I'm with Thorium: run tests and see what you get.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 7:56

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It should be possible.

A malicious app with access to the microphone can easily record the sound. As for the sound, yes, it will be muffled. There are many audio-enhancement programs available.

As said in the comments: you should run some tests yourself. Record a conversation from your pocket, and let a few audio-enhancers go over it. As a non exhaustive list:

  • Audioalter
  • Audio Super Resolution
  • Adobe Audition
  • Auphonic

Remember that you do not need a good quality result, as long as you can hear what they're saying.

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