While Bluetooth has made communication and data sharing much easier for many users, some cybercriminals are now taking advantage of this technology to completely take control of desktops, mobile phones, and IoT platforms.
The culprits are using a Bluetooth vulnerability known as BlueBorne which has been identified by a company named Armis Labs. The company has further revealed all the details on how a user can be hacked on any platform like Windows, Linux, or Mac OS, and the mobile variants. To put it in simple terms, if you have a Bluetooth, you're vulnerable. The best way to be safe is to update the OS or switch off the Bluetooth.
As for the hacking method, the company has said that BlueBorne attack vector allows a hacker to remotely enter any operating system without the need for pairing or the device be in discoverable mode. What's more frightening is that hackers can gain control even if the device is paired with another one. The attack can be completely invisible, and it can happen while walking on the street.
The good thing though is that companies are already working on a solution and some have even been patched on many operating systems.
Windows has fixed a patch already. Linux devices which include the CVE-2017-1000250 and CVE-2017-1000251 vulnerabilities have been patched as well. As for Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices with iOS 9.3.5 they are vulnerable. Users need to upgrade to iOS 10.
Moreover, people with older generation phones, tablets, or any other type of hardware that no longer receive security updates will likely be affected. All we can say is to keep your Bluetooth off.
All the technical details about the new attack have been detailed on Armis Labs official website. The company has also developed an Android application named BlueBorne Vulnerability Scanner which is available in the Google Play store.
And just going by reports, the total number of Bluetooth devices is estimated at over eight billion, which means that there are a lot of targets out there ready to be hacked.