Bluetooth connectivity has grown immensely in popularity with mobile devices in the last number of years. The convenience factor of being able to have a hands-free experience with a mobile phone while driving or out and about has fueled this growth. Unfortunately, like all conveniences there are typically downsides. In the case of Bluetooth, there have been a number of vulnerabilities detected over the last number of years ranging from mobile device viruses to attacks on devices from attackers. In their 2006 publication, Bose & Shin discussed the negative impact of viruses specifically designed to target Bluetooth enabled mobile devices. Their paper discussed the pitfalls of these types of malware that could be spread via SMS/MMS messages and by exploiting Bluetooth vulnerabilities. They analyzed these viruses in order build detection and containment systems.
Since then other vulnerabilities and threats have arisen in the Bluetooth technology space. Jennings (n.d.) describes the more common threats that persist today, which include eavesdropping, and Denial of Service. While it’s commonly understood that the range of Bluetooth connection should be relatively small, devices such as enhanced antennas can be used in attacks from further afield. A combination of appropriate use, enforced corporate policies and due diligence should be used in order to combat these and other future threats against Bluetooth enabled devices.
- Bose, A., & Shin, K. G. (2006, August). On mobile viruses exploiting messaging and bluetooth services. In Securecomm and Workshops, 2006 (pp. 1-10). IEEE.
- Jennings, R. (n.d.). A Review of Bluetooth Attacks and How to Secure Mobile Workforce Devices. Retrieved from: https://www.webroot.com/us/en/business/resources/articles/corporate-security/a-review-of-bluetooth-attacks-and-how-to-secure-mobile-workforce-devices
- Wang, P., González, M. C., Hidalgo, C. A., & Barabási, A. L. (2009). Understanding the spreading patterns of mobile phone viruses. Science, 324(5930), 1071-1076.
Image Credits: Photo by Isis França on Unsplash.