How to Prevent Bluetooth Hacks: Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing & Bluebugging

By | November 14, 2017

Bluetooth Hacks: The way devices communicate with each other is changing every day.  Earlier, they used to communicate by using a range of electrical wires and optical cables.  This type of communication is not so preferred due to limitations. Limitations can be like lack of sensors and weather conditions impact etc.  Nowadays, devices are communicating with Bluetooth Technology.

How to Prevent Bluetooth Hacks Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing & Bluebugging - InfoSeekOut

 

Bluetooth: It is one of the features found in millions of devices we use in our day to day life.  Some of them are like mobile phones, headphones, laptops and portable speakers.  In this article, we will take a look at Bluetooth and Bluetooth Hacks.

 

What is Bluetooth technology?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard. It is used for the exchange of data between two or more devices.  The devices connected through Bluetooth will exchange the data by using radio waves instead of cables.

 

How does Bluetooth work?

Bluetooth connections are automatic, wireless and overcome the problems of wired connections.  They work by creating a network of devices that transmit data through low-power radio waves.  These radio waves are transmitted at a frequency range between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz.  Here, the frequency range has been set by the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands.

 

What are the Benefits of Bluetooth Technology?

  • Wireless and automatic
  • Cheaper than cables.
  • Runs on low power.
  • Can share both voice and data
  • Upgradeable to latest versions
  • Can create a personal area network
  • Worldwide universal wireless standard

 

What is the maximum range of Bluetooth?

The most misunderstanding thing about Bluetooth is, it’s a short-range technology.  But, it’s not.  Bluetooth offers three ranges of connectivity depending upon the classes.

Class 1: Bluetooth devices transmit data at a standard range of approximately 100 meters or 328 feet.

Class 2: Standard range is approximately 10 meters or 32 feet. The class 2 devices differ with Class 1 in terms of power requirements.  In detail, class 2 works with less power.  Hence, this class level is used in most mobile phones and wireless headsets.

Class 3: In this class, devices transmit data at a standard range of approximately less than 10 meters.

 

How to pair devices with Bluetooth?

  • Turn on the Bluetooth and make sure it’s discoverable. (Tip: To know how to make the device discoverable read the device user manual)
  • View the List of Discoverable Devices Nearby
  • Enter a PIN from one device to the other to Pair.

 

How secure is Bluetooth connection from Bluetooth Hacks?

The other common misperception about Bluetooth technology is, it’s private and secure if non-discoverable. But, it’s not.  To dismiss this belief, consider the Bluetooth Hacks known as the Bluejacking, BlueSnarfing, and Bluebugging.

 

What is a Bluejacking attack?

Bluejacking or Bluetooth hijacking is a hacking technique that allows the hijacker to send anonymous messages to Bluetooth-enabled devices within a range.

 

How does Bluejacking work?

In the first place, the hacker scans his surroundings with a Bluetooth-enabled device for other devices.  After, he sends unsolicited messages to the detected devices.  In general, a Bluejacker will only send a text message.  But, with the availability of modern phones, it’s possible to send images and audio as well.

 

How to protect devices from getting Bluejacked?

One of the best ways to protect devices from getting bluejacked is by turning off the Bluetooth and making the devices non-discoverable.  The other is to just ignore the messages.

 

What is a BlueSnarfing attack?

In BlueSnarfing the attacker gets unauthorized access to the information on a wireless device through a Bluetooth connection.  The wireless devices can be mobile phones, desktops, laptops, and Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs).

Once the attacker gains access, he can have access to victim calendars, contact lists, emails and text messages.  Not only that but also they can copy user pictures and private videos.

 

What is the difference between Bluejacking and BlueSnarfing?

In both Bluejacking and BlueSnarfing, the exploit is done without user knowledge.  But, the major difference between them is BlueSnarfing is harmful whereas Bluejacking is not.

  

How to prevent BlueSnarfing attack?

Update: Update the Bluetooth version to the latest.  Not to mention, a device without security updates is vulnerable to any kind of attacks.

Make it non-discoverable: Make a habit of turning off the Bluetooth connection.  This not only avoids bluesnarfing attacks but also save the battery power of Bluetooth devices.

Do not accept pairing request from an unknown device: Always double check before you pair your device with an unknown device.  The most common technique used in this attack is sending you unsolicited business card.  If you accept the request, bluesnarfer becomes a reliable device and can access your data.

Keep away sensitive information: In the first place, never store the sensitive information on a Bluetooth-enabled device.  Remember, even though the best security measures can and will be breached.

 

What is a Bluebugging attack?

It is a technique that allows the attackers to gain access and control your Bluetooth-enabled devices that are within discoverable range.  If a hacker Bluebugs a device, they can access all info including messages, photos, contacts, etc.  The main reason behind the Bluebugging attack is lack of awareness.

 

What is the difference between Bluejacking, BlueSnarfing, and Bluebugging?

Bluebugging is similar to Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing.  In all the three Bluetooth Hacks, the attacker can access and use all phone features.  But, Bluebugging is limited by the transmitting power of class 2.  Also, it is a much harder form of hacking technique than other two.

 

How to Prevent Bluebugging attack?

Follow the same suggestions that are listed above to prevent BlueSnarfing attack.

 

Conclusion: After all, Bluetooth Hacks are being carried out due to lack of awareness and enabling of Bluetooth connection.  Hence, don’t forget to hide your devices.  Not only that but also turn off Bluetooth connection if you are not using it.

 

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