The nickname "Houdini," referring to Human illusionist Harry Houdini, was given to the devices by Starfleet troops on AR-558 because they hid in subspace and appeared at random. The mines were an effective psychological weapon, because there was no way to predict when or where they would appear.
In 2375, Kellin and Ezri Dax found a way to modify a tricorder to detect the Houdinis on AR-558. Captain Benjamin Sisko ordered the mines moved to a nearby ravine and reprogrammed to respond to movement. The mines eliminated a significant portion of two approaching Jem'Hadar columns. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")