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Billions of Bluetooth devices vulnerable to attacks

2017-09-12 11:30 by


More than 5.3 billion devices featuring Bluetooth are vulnerable to attacks. Security researchers have discovered eight vulnerabilities affecting the technology, called "BlueBorne".

The flaws found by security firm Armis are particularly dangerous because they can be exploited over the air without any type of authentication or device pairing. Simply having Bluetooth enabled on a device is enough to make it vulnerable if patches for these issues are not installed. Researchers say traditional security solutions can't detect or stop the vulnerabilities.

Bluetooth implementations in Android, iOS, Microsoft, and Linux are affected, impacting almost all Bluetooth device types, from smartphones to laptops, and from IoT devices to smart cars.

"BlueBorne is a series of vulnerabilities that we found and enable an airborne attack vector," Nadir Izreal, co-founder of security firm Armis, said. "The vulnerabilities permeate all the major stacks on devices and given Bluetooth's popularity we estimate there to be 5.3 billion vulnerable devices."

"Just by having Bluetooth on, we can get malicious code on your device," Izrael added. "Blueborne abuses the fact that when Bluetooth is on, all of these devices are always listening for connections."

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