In this post, we will show you how Bluetooth hacking occurs and how to prevent Bluetooth hacking.
But before we proceed, what do you know about Bluetooth communication?
Technology advancement has brought a lot of positive development to the world, thereby streamlining strenuous tasks.
Take, for instance, the advent of wireless technology brought about wireless inventions like Bluetooth communication used worldwide and available on various computerized gadgets like Laptops, Tablets, TVs, Portable speakers, cars, mobile phones, watches, and a host of other wireless-enabled devices.
Bluetooth is a wireless communication protocol invented by Dr. Jaap Haartsen in the late 90s to simplify the transfer of documents, photos, and files for less bulky peripheral devices over short-range distances.
Unfortunately, the evolution of wireless communication between frequently used devices like Mobile phones, PDAs, Computers, and others has been made possible by Bluetooth technology, but this has created new security bottlenecks for developers and users of Bluetooth communication and their data.
What Is Bluetooth Hacking?
Bluetooth hacking occurs when hackers gain access to an unsuspecting user’s data with the help of malicious malware and other tools. Hackers can breach your Bluetooth-enabled devices through the vulnerability found in Bluetooth 5 specification discovered by Miia Vuontisjärvi, Tommi Mäkilä, and Jukka Taimisto who are security researchers from Finland.
In addition, Bluetooth hacking can also be possible via eavesdropping, which is common among older devices using outdated Bluetooth technology with an unpatched security vulnerability. Also, vulnerabilities like Bleedingbit and BlueBorne, which are mostly remotely exploited by hackers to gain access to the victim’s device is some of the Bluetooth security concerns.
Car-hacking Bluetooth And Other Security Issues
Car hacking Bluetooth has been discovered to be one of the security concerns bedeviling the automobile industry. Two security researchers once demonstrated how possible it was to hack and hijack the moving car on a highway.
Besides that, cybersecurity experts and automakers agree to the reality that internet and Bluetooth-connected cars are vulnerable to malicious hack attacks as every other internet-connected invention. They revealed the vulnerability in automobiles’ networks that can be breached and manipulated by maneuvering their way through the security protocols set in cars to protect against hacks.
There is confirmed research that reveals that vehicles with wireless connections like Bluetooth, mobile phone services, radios, and Wi-Fi are vulnerable to hackers’ malicious attacks through remote commands.
How To Prevent Bluetooth Hacking
It becomes easier to prevent Bluetooth hacking once you can recognize the various vulnerabilities and methods used by hackers to attack your devices maliciously. So, what is the best method to prevent Bluetooth from being exploited?
Here are some Bluetooth hacking methods and how to prevent them:
- Hackers can crash your digital device thereby blocking you from receiving text messages or calls. It might be best that you turn off your Bluetooth connection when not in use.
- Hackers can tap into your phone conversations via your Bluetooth headsets and other hands-free devices using a mobile bug with Joshua Wright, having shown severe vulnerabilities discovered in significant headset brands. Turning off your Bluetooth visibility and changing your default code to more complex code can help reduce this threat.
- If you make phone calls from your car with your Bluetooth device, have them switched off before getting out.
- When you are involved in a first time pairing of devices, ensure it is done at home or in the office and not in a public place since hackers mostly target users of public Wi-Fi.
- Always download and update your devices’ software to the latest versions because most updates from your device makers come with security patches that help fight against hacks and security threats.
- Avoid pairing your device with an unrecognized source. Never accept pairing requests when you are not sure of the other party’s identity.
- To protect yourself against the BlueBorne attack, ensure that you never use public Wi-Fi and make use of VPN services as a protective measure.
Is Bluetooth Secure?
Bluetooth connection is as vulnerable as internet-connected devices since cybercriminals can hack into unsuspecting Bluetooth user’s devices. There have been reports of hackers using “Bluebugging” to gather information from devices whose Bluetooth is left on “discovery mode” by naive owners who are yet to change their default settings. This allows hackers to use the collected information to hijack the device for malicious purposes.
The vulnerability of Bluetooth communication can also lead to “Bluesnarfing”. This allows hackers to gain unauthorized access to a device to gather user’s information, such as text messages, call logs, calendars, emails, and contact lists with hacking tools like obexftp and hcitool.
What Is The Best Method To Prevent Bluetooth From Being Exploited?
There are several ways to protect your Bluetooth-enabled devices from being hacked, including implementing strong passwords.
If you use your phone often, you are at risk of being a victim of bluejacking. In this attack, the hacker uses sophisticated software to find other Bluetooth-enabled devices in the vicinity and copy their peripherals. Then, the smartphone or tablet will think it is communicating with a trusted device.
Another way to protect your device from being hacked is to turn off Discoverable mode. This mode prevents other Bluetooth devices from being able to see you. Bluetooth devices should be in this mode when not in use to prevent hackers from identifying the target.
However, this countermeasure isn’t foolproof – hackers have figured out ways to exploit this vulnerability. One such example is Joshua Wright’s demonstration of how to hack a Bluetooth device by using a directional high-gain antenna.
Bluetooth impersonation is another way Bluetooth hacks can take over your device. The attacker uses software and hardware that can intercept Bluetooth handshakes, which are used to pair two devices. Once he’s able to intercept this data, he can manipulate passwords and sensitive information. It’s not difficult to imagine what the consequences could be for a person who’s paired device.
Another common attack is the Man-in-the-Middle attack. With this technique, an attacker has to be close to the connected devices to collect data packets. Similarly, many Bluetooth speakers have vulnerabilities in their firmwares. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, an attacker can gain control of the speaker. In addition, many people do not bother to turn off their Bluetooth speakers when they are not in use.
In addition to limiting the amount of time your Bluetooth device is enabled, you should ensure it has a strong security code to prevent hackers from gaining access to sensitive data. Furthermore, if you have a Bluetooth speaker, you should update its firmware regularly to patch any vulnerabilities in it.
Bluetooth speakers should also be turned off when not in use, as hackers can exploit these devices. If you want to ensure your Bluetooth speaker stays secure, you should use the latest versions of these apps.
Bluesnarfing is another type of Bluetooth hack. It is possible to be bluesnared from 300 feet away. In fact, it is easy for a skilled hacker to hijack a victim’s phone using this method. This attack relies on a vulnerability in Bluetooth’s OBEX protocol, which allows it to exchange information wirelessly. The OBEX protocol is known to have a security flaw, so it’s crucial to protect yourself from this attack.
Hackers are not slowing down in their quest to gain wealth and “popularity” through malicious means. It is your responsibility to protect yourself from Bluetooth hackers. Taking your security seriously can never be too much.