Do you still thinking that hacking is possible only through the Internet? Bluetooth can also be the target of a hacker attack called Bluebugging. An unsecured Bluetooth connection will allow cyber scammers to gain access to your device, especially valuable information for them include your calls, contacts and correspondence in various messengers.
What does bluebugging mean?
Bluebugging is 'bugging' or eves-dropping your bluetooth connection. In this article we will show you how to avoid becoming a victim of bluebugging.
- What is the bluebugging attack mechanism?
- When is the risk of bluebugging particularly high?
- Comparison of bluejacking, bluesnarfing and bluebugging, what are the differences?
- Effective ways to avoid bluebugging
What is the bluebugging attack mechanism?
An unknown user (hacker) is trying to connect to your device via Bluetooth.
Bypassing the authorization of the paired device is difficult, however, experienced hackers use the brute force attacks method to bypass and establish a stable connection. After that, malware is installed to extract personal data from your device without your knowledge.
Once a bluebugged attack is successful, the hacker gains access to the basic functions of your phone: they can make calls, send messages and see contacts, texts, and even edit and downloading content from your device.
In order for bluebugging to be successful, a hacker only needs to be within a radius of 10 meters from your device, which is the effective range that Bluetooth works at. To avoid revealing their identity, hackers can use additional antennas to amplify the signal and increase the radius of its reception.
The Bluetooth detection mode on your device usually plays a dirty trick on you, since most devices this setting is set to default 'on'.
When is the risk of bluebugging particularly high?
A Bluetooth enabled on your device in public places can become a target for a hacker who is only 10 meters away from you.
While literally any Bluetooth-enabled device can be hacked, smartphones are the most frequently hacked as they are more vulnerable. Moreover, many people do not even turn their Bluetooth off after use, and are putting your device in danger of a hacker attack.
Comparison of bluejacking, bluesnarfing and bluebugging, what is the fundamental difference?
Bluejacking can be called a Bluetooth prank because often attackers use it to send advertisements or spam. It allows people to 'push' or 'jack' your Bluetooth signal and send you unwanted messages and content
Bluesnarfing helps cybercriminals download your personal data, including photos, messages, and call logs. They 'snarf' or record all the traffic from your device.
Bluebugging is the most dangerous type of Bluetooth hacking, as the entire device is under the control of the hacker, which allows them to passively view and silently download your personal data, but also actively interfere with your connection and send messages and make calls. They have full control over your device.
Effective ways to avoid bluebugging
By leaving Bluetooth enabled, you expose your device to bluebugging attacks.
We have selected five ways for you to protect the privacy of your Bluetooth-enabled device:
Get the latest updates for your device.
For most Bluetooth devices, the default setting is "Discoverable Mode" makes your device vulnerable to hackers connecting to it. As manufacturers discover and fix known vulnerabilities, there is a regular update to the latest security patches, try not to ignore them. Turning off Bluetooth immediately after use can also serve as a simple and effective habit.
Hide your Bluetooth device from the eyes of hackers.
Carefully study the Bluetooth settings on your device and find out how to enable "Undiscovered Mode." Modern devices mostly support this feature. This makes your device bluetooth broadcast invisible, which will make it difficult for hackers to detect it via Bluetooth, and therefore make pairing impossible.
Decline suspicious messages.
Be wary of messages sent from unknown numbers, never open links in such messages. This is often a way for malware to get onto your device in order to steal as much of your personal information as possible.
Pay attention to suspicious activity.
If you detect calls and texts that you didn't make, it could be a wake-up call that your device has been bluebugged and controlled by someone other than you. In this case, we recommend resetting your device and backing it up to factory default settings.
Notice if there is excessive data usage.
Has your mobile data traffic skyrocketed even though you rarely use mobile data? This could be a signal that someone is illegally controlling your device, sending personal data from it, or using your Internet identity as part of a botnet.