Bluetooth Attack could silently hack phones and laptops

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Security researchers alerted that billions of Windows, Android, Linux and iOS devices which use Bluetooth could be affected by a new attack that can be carried out remotely without users interaction.

The hackers using BlueBorne Attack Vector can leverage Bluetooth connectivity by masquerading as a Bluetooth device and then take over control of the targeted system.

Most attack vectors require a user to click on a malicious link or download a file containing a payload.

Blueborne consists of a number of ways to attack a device, the most serious of which would allow a threat actor to gain control over a Bluetooth enabled device and its data.

Armsi Labs claims to have identified eight zero-day vulnerabilities so far, and believes that many wore await discovery.

A new vulnerability has been discovered that could infect devices running the Android operating system with either a malware or a ransomware through a simple Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth actually always looks for other devices, whether it's discoverable or not, and that can be easily intercepted by attackers. Next, the attacker obtains the device's MAC address, which is a unique identifier of that specific device.

In the last step, an attacker can start streaming data from the device in a "man-in-the-middle" attack.

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 reason why Android is still very vulnerable to this particular attack is that a lot of partners have not deployed the patches necessary to fix the problem. That's over 2 billion devices that will be left vulnerable to BlueBorne attacks. As he makes deliveries to different locations, including relatively secure ones such as banks, BlueBorne is able to spread to multiple Bluetooth devices.

At Armis Labs, Ben Seri and Gregory Vishnepolsky are the two researchers who discussed the vulnerabilities in modern Bluetooth stacks-and devices with Bluetooth capabilities were estimated at over 8.2 billion, according to the Armis site's overview.

BlueBorne vulnerabilities are tracked under the following identifiers: CVE-2017-0781, CVE-2017-0782, CVE-2017-0783, and CVE-2017-0785 for Android devices; CVE-2017-1000251 and CVE-2017-1000250 for Linux; and CVE-2017-8628 on Windows. Below is a video describing the BlueBorne attack, and demos for BlueBorne attacks on Android, Windows, and Linux devices.

In the case of Apple, devices with iOS 9.3.5 and lower, and AppleTV devices running version 7.2.2 and lower are vulnerable.

Apple (aapl) fans will be delighted to hear that the current versions of its software are not vulnerable. Microsoft also released an update recently to close this bug, and Google has also released protective patches for Nougat and Marshmallow with the September security update. The researchers have informed Microsoft, Google, Linux, and Apple about the new "BlueBorne" attack, and some of these companies have even rolled out patches for it. "This is why the vulnerabilities which comprise BlueBorne are based on the various implementations of the Bluetooth protocol, and are more prevalent and severe than those of recent years". Almost all vulnerabilities found since were of low severity, and did not allow remote code execution.

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