BlueBorne News: Bluetooth Can Put Security and Privacy of Users at Risk

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
A man holds his smartphone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, August 22, 2016.

Given the capabilities that modern day technology has afforded the world, the risk on security and privacy has also significantly increased. With enough knowledge, hackers only recently got into the online world of a major network, even though they claimed it to be secure. To understand the threat of such activities, security firm Armis has conducted their own investigation as to what vulnerabilities each device might have—and they found a lot.

The researchers found out that BlueBorne, which refers to the attack on wireless devices that they discovered, poses an alarming threat as it can affect any device that has their Bluetooth on. It can affect devices within a 32 feet range, and hackers will be able to access and extract confidential data from the network.

So far, tech giants like Apple and Windows have already released a patch that addressed the vulnerabilities that Armis has identified. Meanwhile, Google is working on distributing the necessary fix to their devices.

"Just by having Bluetooth on, we can get malicious code on your device," Nadir Izrael, CTO and co-founder of security firm Armis, told Ars Technica. "BlueBorne abuses the fact that when Bluetooth is on, all of these devices are always listening for connections."

Most security firms now advise users to keep their Bluetooth off, especially when they are not using it or are near someone they have yet to trust. Having it on all day everyday can exponentially risk a person's security and privacy, even if they have installed the necessary patch.

For those who own Android and Linux devices, security firms also advise them to be especially careful. Although Android has begun to fix one vulnerability after another, BlueBorne can still bypass the security measures. On the other hand, Linux very rarely receives updates and there is no news yet on when they will plan to release a patch.