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Different Types of Bluetooth Attacks and Measures to Prevent it

Written by Anuraag Singh ~ Modified: 13-12-2021 ~ General ~ 5 Minutes Reading

Different Types of Bluetooth Attacks

Certain technologies have no alternative, one of them being Bluetooth. Even if you haven’t been a victim yet, you should know the different types of Bluetooth attacks, and ways to protect yourself from them.

What would have we done without Bluetooth? How would you connect your laptop with a speaker or your AirPods with your iPhone? 

Using Bluetooth daily, somewhere down the line, we have underestimated its importance.

Moreover, Did you know who came up with the idea of Bluetooth?  The concept of Bluetooth was first coined by the Viking king, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson and is named after him.

Bluetooth is the only way through which we got spared from using those annoying wires. Also, it helps transfer pictures to our friends without any internet connection. 

Don’t you agree with me? 

The Bluetooth technology allows the exchange of data between devices, but only within a short distance. 

However, since every rose has its thorns, Bluetooth is also not devoid of flaws, there are many concerns related to Bluetooth that we are still unaware of! 

Is Bluetooth Prone to Attacks? 

No doubt, some technologies are better and advanced than Bluetooth. But, that doesn’t make it any less vulnerable to the different types of Bluetooth attacks.  

People consider Bluetooth to be a harmless technology because it is a ‘Personal Area Network’, which means it is available only within a short range. 

However, for a hacker to attack your Bluetooth, he only needs to be within the range of your device and Bluetooth radio to exploit it. 

Moreover, they can easily use directional, high-gain antennas to communicate over much greater distances.

This makes it quite evident that our Bluetooth is not as secure as we thought it to be. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the common ways in which Bluetooth gets hacked and how to protect yourself from them.

What are the Different Types of Bluetooth Attacks?

Some of the Bluetooth attacks that are causing a major fuss in the market are:

1. Bluebugging

Through this Bluetooth attack, hackers can:

  • Eavesdrop on phone calls by gaining access to a device.
  • Connect themselves to the user’s Internet.
  • Receive and send text messages and emails.
  • Make calls, when the owner of the device is unaware of it.

This kind of attack generally happens in phones with older models.

2.  Bluejacking

Bluejacking is not as serious as the other Bluetooth attacks. 

It is a common and harmless attack that was earlier used to prank people. 

Through this, the hacker can only send text messages to the hacked device. It doesn’t give them access to your smartphone or the data in it.

So, to tackle this problem, keep your Bluetooth settings non-discoverable or invisible, or just ignore the received messages.

3. Bluesnarfing

Out of the different types of Bluetooth attacks, this is one of the most dangerous.

When hackers are within 300 feet of a device, they can conduct a bluesnarfing attack (around 90 meters).

This happens because, even if your device is set to non-discoverable mode, hackers can still attack and access your personal information.

They can also copy the data on your device, including your photos and videos, phone number, contact list, emails, and passwords.

Thus, keep your Bluetooth in invisible mode. Since it makes it difficult for hackers to figure out the model and name of your device.

5. Location Tracking 

This attack is one of the different types of Bluetooth attacks that occur on locating and tracking devices.

Fitness lovers are more vulnerable to this attack since their fitness devices are always linked to their Bluetooth.

Tips to Protect yourself from the Attacks

In the case of other devices, hackers can access your data from any location. However, for Bluetooth, the hacker must be within a short distance to successfully exploit your data.

This requires you to be extra cautious and take precautions whenever required. 

  1. Turning off your Bluetooth when not in use will eliminate maximum security risks.
  2. Avoid pairing requests from unfamiliar devices.
  3. Update the phone’s firmware or operating system regularly. This will provide you with the latest security features.
  4. Purchase a gadget with enough security features.
  5. Disable any function of the device, that can be accessed without entering the passcode. Doing this will not let anyone access your applications without your permission.
  6. Turn off the geotagging feature on your phone. This prevents intruders from determining your location.
  7. Before returning, repairing, or reselling your phone, erase all your data.

Following the above-mentioned suggestions will make you aware of the many kinds of Bluetooth attacks and how to defend yourself from them.

What Have We Learned? 

Bluetooth has become a household name! Using it daily we have taken it for granted. However, once targeted by any one of the different types of Bluetooth attacks discussed above, sends the user in a state of panic. 

Here, the services of an expert like Anuraag Singh can be of immense help. He is a maestro in the field of cyber security and has 21 years of core knowledge that can deal with any kind of Bluetooth attack, you have encountered.