Blue Bugging

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    In Context 

    Cybersecurity experts note that apps that let users connect smartphones or laptops to wireless earplugs can record conversations, and are vulnerable to hacks. 

    • Through a process called bluebugging, a hacker can gain unauthorised access to these apps and devices and control them as per their wish.

    What is bluebugging?

    • Background: Independent security researcher Martin Herfurt blogged about the threat of bluebugging as early as 2004.
      •  the bug exploited a loophole in Bluetooth protocol, enabling it to download phone books and call lists from the attacked user’s phone.
    • It is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection. 
    • Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can listen to the calls, read and send messages and steal and modify contacts.
    •  It started out as a threat to laptops with Bluetooth capability.
      •  Later hackers used the technique to target mobile phones and other devices.
    • Threats: Bluebugging attacks work by exploiting Bluetooth-enabled devices.
      • The device’s Bluetooth must be in discoverable mode, which is the default setting on most devices.
      •  The hacker then tries to pair with the device via Bluetooth. Once a connection is established, hackers can use brute force attacks to bypass authentication. 
      • They can install the malware in the compromised device to gain unauthorised access to it. Bluebugging can happen whenever a Bluetooth-enabled device is within a 10-meter radius of the hacker
    • Ways to prevent:  Turning off Bluetooth and disconnecting paired Bluetooth devices when not in use, updating the device’s system software to the latest version, limiting use of public Wi-Fi, and using VPN as an additional security measure are some of the ways to prevent bluebugging, 
      • Users must also watch out for suspicious activities on their devices, 

    Source: TH