Bluetooth leaves gates wide open to cyberattacks

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Bluetooth icon on mobile device. Cyberattack risk.Locking our house or car comes as second nature. Switching off our Bluetooth connection when we’re not using it should also be an automatic security measure. Why? Because researchers have identified an attack called BlueBorne that exploits a range of vulnerabilities inherent in Bluetooth’s implementation in several software systems – including Linux, Windows, Android and iOS.

BlueBorne poses a real threat to PCs and smartphones, and also IOT devices such as smart TVs, speakers and light bulbs, by scanning the Internet for open Bluetooth connections. Linux, which provides the operating system for a large number of these devices, has not as yet issued an antidote.

Hacking via Bluetooth is quick, easy and can spread like wildfire. Its one weakness is that it only works within a 30ft range – though that is little consolation in crowded spaces like cafes and offices. The best thing to do is install every patch available and to keep Bluetooth switched off whenever it’s not in use.