Security experts warn to turn off your Bluetooth

Can you believe there are hacker conventions and that the largest hacker convention called DEFCON has been held in Las Vegas, NV every year  since 1993?

Actually, according to Wikipedia, attendees are computer security professionals, journalists, lawyers, federal government employees, security researchers, students, and yes, hackers. But anyone with a general interest in software, computer architecture, hardware modification, and anything else that can be ‘hacked’ can attend DEFCON.

The last convention was held on August 8-11, 2019 and the general consensus coming out of that convention is that your Bluetooth connection is unsafe. Really, very unsafe.

In a post, by Security Boulevard, titled ‘Securing devices for DEF CON,’ it was noted that anyone can track you while you are using your Bluetooth and that it’s a chronic problem on devices like headphone fitness trackers. The post went on to say that Bluetooth devices have gaping holes in it that are just waiting to be hacked.

However, Adam Kujawa, who is the director of Malwarebytes Labs, told Fox News that the danger is relatively small when using your Bluetooth for music or audio. It’s when you use it for things like data transmission, or phone calls that the potential for damage increases but not necessarily the likelihood of being hacked because the tools needed are expensive and it takes having an intermediate level of experience to do it.

But, Jake Kouns, the chief information security officer at Risk Based Security, said in an email to Fox News, that because of the widespread use of Bluetooth all it would take would be just a single vulnerability to have a devastating impact on the ever-increasing list of devices. He said that with Bluetooth devices not being able to be easily updated compounds the problem making them to be more vulnerable to hacking attacks.

Kouns suggests that the best protection option is to turn off your Bluetooth after using it. Unless you’re using Bluetooth headsets, smartwatches, or fitness trackers, for example, that need to have Bluetooth turned on all the time in order to provide real-time data syncing as well as receiving messages and alerts.

Kujawa says that functionality and expansion of use is what the development of Bluetooth has focused on rather than security.

SIG, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a trade association which oversees the Bluetooth technology, says otherwise, and told Fox News that the Bluetooth specifications do provide the advanced security features which do adhere to global requirements.

According to its website, Bluetooth SIG was founded in 1998 and has over 35,000 member companies.

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