Bluetooth Security Flaws Impacting 'Billions of Devices' Come With Some Serious Caveats

Bluetooth Security Flaws Impacting 'Billions of Devices' Come With Some Serious Caveats

Bluetooth Security Flaws Impacting 'Billions of Devices' Come With Some Serious Caveats

Microsoft issued a patch for the vulnerabilities in July as part of its monthly security updates but did not specify that it had done so, instead specifying this only in its September security updates on Tuesday.

According to IoT security company #Armis Labs, a new #Attack Vector called #BlueBorne is able to attack interconnected devices using Bluetooth technology.

Apple iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch with iOS version 9.3.5 and earlier are vulnerable to the BlueBorne flaws.

The "undetectable" flaws, said researchers, put the majority of devices around the world at risk - at least 5.3 billion devices - including Windows, Android, Linux, and Apple devices. But since the exploit is so different to the typical attack vector, users wouldn't even be alerted if their device gets compromised, leading to a hypothetical nightmare scenario (detailed in the video below) wherein a user spreads the "infection" to vulnerable phones and tablets simply by walking in their vicinity.

"BlueBorne is a name we gave for eight vulnerabilities found in the common Bluetooth stacks of all the major vendors", said Armis co-founder and CTO Nadir Izrael in a phone interview with The Register.

Based on the research paper released by Armis Labs, hackers can take control the Bluetooth connection of the targeted device using BlueBorne.

Leaving your phone or computer's Bluetooth on all the time has never been a good idea, but now researchers at the cybersecurity firm Armis are claiming to have discovered a series of vulnerabilities that allow them to silently hack devices over Bluetooth. The researchers consider three of the flaws to be critical. The vulnerabilities for Android are indexed as CVE-2017-0781, CVE-2017-0782, CVE-2017-0783, and CVE-2017-0785; the vulnerabilities for Linux are CVE-2017-1000251 and CVE-2017-1000250; the vulnerability for Windows is CVE-2017-8628; the designation for iOS vulnerability wasn't immediately available.

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Linux devices running BlueZ are affected by the information leak flaw and those from version 3.3-rc1, released in October 2011, are affected by the remote code execution flaw.

What makes BlueBorne so risky is that it does not require any interaction with a device's user.

More information on the attack can be found below. This attack would not require additional hardware, as it uses the Bluetooth connection on the device against the device itself. "It doesn't require the user to make a mistake, or have a device in a discoverable mode". Turns that Bluetooth into a rotten black one.

Connect to the target device in an undetected manner, then remotely execute code on that device. The vulnerabilities reported by Armis now reinforce the wisdom of that advice.

There are technically several distinct attack vectors spread across current mobile operating systems. He also downplayed the likelihood of active BlueBorne attacks, noting that there's no indication either of the Broadcom chip vulnerabilities has ever been exploited in the wild.

The growth of the Internet of Things also means there are millions of other devices that can be connected to via Bluetooth, from light bulbs and thermostats to refrigerators and cars. The Android exploit Armis has developed, for instance, already works on both a Pixel and Nexus phones.

As for Google, the company said that its Android partners received the patch in early August. What's more: "An attacker that would want to weaponize these exploits could achieve generic exploits with very little work".

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