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I've running Kali Linux Rolling Edition for quite some time and had no problem with my wireless card. A few days ago I noticed that I could see a wireless interface on issuing sudo ifconfig but my Broadcom BCM43142 wireless card won't detect any nearby hotspot.I decided to restart my machine and after restart I could no longer see any wireless interface, not even after sudo ifconfig.

I tried sudo lspci and sudo lsusb too, but no luck:

papagolf@Sierra ~ % sudo lspci
[sudo] password for papagolf: 
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT DRAM Controller (rev 0b)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0b)
00:03.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT HD Audio Controller (rev 0b)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series HECI #0 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 8 Series HD Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev e4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev e4)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 5 (rev e4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series USB EHCI #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 8 Series SMBus Controller (rev 04)
07:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 0c)
08:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF117M [GeForce 610M/710M/810M/820M / GT 620M/625M/630M/720M] (rev a1)
papagolf@Sierra ~ % sudo lsusb
Bus 001 Device 015: ID 0bda:0129 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTS5129 Card Reader Controller
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0c45:6a04 Microdia 
Bus 001 Device 014: ID 04e8:6864 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd GT-I9070 (network tethering, USB debugging enabled)
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

My question is does this mean that it's a hardware failure or could it still be some other problem? How do I confirm it?

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The lspci will will scan for the connected device , using the pciids database it will give you the required information about the wifi card. to be sure update the database through update-pciids , if the bcm43142 isn't displayed , your wifi card is buggy or it is not connected properly. Also you can use the rfkill list to list the working wifi (bluetooth) device on your system.

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