A Swiss research agency has uncovered a major vulnerability in bluetooth protocol. Open allows for the imitation of a device you previously trusted. Moreover, complex tools are not needed to carry out this covert attack.
Bluetooth,a short-distance radio frequency technology that eliminates cable connectivity, brings with it great ease, especially in wireless and internet-free data transfer. However, a study by the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, a Swiss research agency, found that there is a significant vulnerability in this technology. The name given to the vulnerability discovered by the institute was ‘Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS’ (BIAS).
Bias’s processing principle is very simple. The attacker looks like a Bluetooth device you’ve previously connected to and trusted, so it can provide intruder access to your device. The attacker was able to do this by obtaining a secure connection without having a long-term switch shared between the targeted victim with the Bluetooth device it replaced.
Apple, Intel and Samsung’s chips are also on the attack:
This method of stealth attack doesn’t require very complex tools. A hacker doesn’t need a tool other than the Raspberry Pi to take over a laptop, smartwatch, mobile phone or headset. The vulnerability is reportedly found on more than 28 Bluetooth chips on more than three dozen devices. These chips include Apple, Cypress, Qualcomm, Intel, Samsung and CSR-producing chips. The institute stresses that they informed manufacturers of this vulnerability last December, and some have found workarounds and provided updates to their users.
When two Bluetooth devices enter match mode, a continuous (long-term) encryption switch is transmitted and stored between these two devices. This also explains why smartphone users have seen a list of devices that they previously matched on match lists because you can reconnect with a device you’ve previously paired with and instantly connect to many users without reliving long match times.
Hackers can infiltrate secure connections for these reasons because bluetooth secure connection is not encrypted, repeated connections do not require mutual authentication, and devices that use secure connections can withstand old and less secure connection protocols. BIAS focuses on the Bluetooth Classic protocol that supports Basic Rate and Enhanced Data Rate modes.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG),which manages Bluetooth protocols, said it would update the Bluetooth Core Specification (Bluetooth Basic Specification), which covers mutual authentication rules, and tighten security protocols.