Can Bluetooth Be Hacked?

Nowadays, almost all of us have a Bluetooth enabled phone. While this technology provides us loads of useful functions, it may also expose our phones to hacking attempts. Bluetooth hacking takes place when a hacker uses his or her own Bluetooth connection to connect to your phone. However, this can only happen if your phone is within the Bluetooth range of a potential hacker. Usually, this range is around 30 feet. If the hacker is able to connect, the hacked phone gets exposed to all types of vulnerabilities related to its security.

How does It Work?

Hackers carry out Bluetooth hacking by setting up specialized software and hardware, through which, they discover vulnerable devices equipped with active Bluetooth connections. This is done mostly in busy areas where hundreds of people congregate or commute on a regular basis. The hacked device offers no indication or warning that it has been accessed by someone else. The connection is lost as soon the device goes out of range.

Bluetooth hacking is undoubtedly a serious security threat for billions of mobile phone users around the world. Several aspects of a phone can be controlled by this feature, including sending texts, making calls, transferring files, and displaying device information. Therefore, leveraging the power of this technology, hackers can easily jeopardize the online security of any unprotected device.

What’s the Most Common Bluetooth Hacking?

A wireless technology, Bluetooth makes use of short-wavelength radio transmissions to exchange information within a short range of distances. However, this system comes with several flaws, making it vulnerable to hacking. Bluetooth-based attacks can be divided into three categories as mentioned below.

• Bluejacking: This is the most common type of Bluetooth hacking. In these attacks, unsolicited messages are sent by the hackers to discoverable devices in a specific area, utilizing the electronic business card feature of Bluetooth as the carrier. Bluejacking is relatively harmless in nature as the hacker can’t intercept messages or access any information from the phone.

• Bluesnarfing: Much more serious in nature compared to Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing allows hackers to access certain personal information from the hacked phone. These attacks are carried out by using special software. Using this software, the hacker can send requests for access to information from a phone through the Bluetooth OBEX push profile. These attacks can be carried out in invisible mode.

• Bluebugging: This type of attack can be much more powerful compared to Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing. The hackers can gain complete control over a mobile device without the slightest a clue to the owner of the device.

However, this form of hacking is extremely difficult and is only feasible on older mobile phone models with outdated firmware.

How to Prevent Bluetooth Hacking?

Many people tend to believe that hacking is not easy. Unfortunately, this is not true. Also, please don’t make the mistake of assuming that your phone won’t be hacked because it has no valuable information.

Follow these simple steps to protect your mobile devices from Bluetooth hacking:

• Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi: If these features always remain ‘on’, the hackers can find out the networks you have frequently connected to and spoof them.

• Use Two-Step Authentication: This is an excellent preventive measure because even if your password is accessed by someone, he or she can’t log in without physical access to your phone.

• Smart Password: Create a password with various numbers and characters used sporadically.

• Turn your Bluetooth setting to invisible mode, when not in use.

• Update the firmware of your devices regularly.

• Never enter PIN or link keys when prompted by unknown sources.

• Stay away from open Wi-Fi networks.

• Turn Bluetooth off when it is not in use.

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