This article needs to be updated
. Please update this to reflect recent events or newly available information. (September 2019)
is the unauthorized access
of information from a wireless device
through a Bluetooth
connection, often between phones, desktops, laptops, and PDAs (personal digital assistant
This allows access to calendars, contact lists, emails and text messages, and on some phones, users can copy pictures and private videos. Both Bluesnarfing and Bluejacking
exploit others' Bluetooth connections without their knowledge. While Bluejacking is essentially harmless as it only transmits data to the target device, Bluesnarfing is the theft of information
from the target device.
Current mobile software generally must allow a connection using a temporary state initiated by the user in order to be 'paired' with another device to copy content. There seem to have been, in the past, available reports of phones being Bluesnarfed without pairing being explicitly allowed. After the disclosure of this vulnerability, vendors of mobile phone patched their Bluetooth implementations and, at the time of writing[when?]
, no current phone models are known to be vulnerable to this attack.
Any device with its Bluetooth connection turned on and set to "discoverable" (able to be found by other Bluetooth devices in range) may be susceptible to Bluejacking and possibly to Bluesnarfing if there is a vulnerability in the vendor's software. By turning off this feature, the potential victim can be safer from the possibility of being Bluesnarfed; although a device that is set to "hidden" may be Bluesnarfable by guessing the device's MAC address
via a brute force attack
. As with all brute force attacks, the main obstacle to this approach is the sheer number of possible MAC addresses. Bluetooth uses a 48-bit unique MAC Address, of which the first 24 bits are common to a manufacturer.
The remaining 24 bits have approximately 16.8 million possible combinations, requiring an average
of 8.4 million attempts to guess by brute force.
Attacks on wireless systems have increased along with the popularity of wireless networks
. Attackers often search for rogue access points, or unauthorized wireless devices installed in an organization's network and allow an attacker to circumvent network security
. Rogue access points and unsecured wireless networks are often detected through war driving, which is using an automobile or other means of transportation to search for a wireless signal over a large area. Bluesnarfing is an attack to access information from wireless devices that transmit using the Bluetooth protocol. With mobile devices, this type of attack is often used to target the international mobile equipment identity
(IMEI). Access to this unique piece of data enables the attackers to divert incoming calls and messages to another device without the user's knowledge.
Bluetooth vendors advise customers with vulnerable Bluetooth devices to either turn them off in areas regarded as unsafe or set them to undiscoverable.
This Bluetooth setting allows users to keep their Bluetooth on so that compatible Bluetooth products can be used but other Bluetooth devices cannot discover them.
Because Bluesnarfing is an invasion of privacy
, it is illegal in many countries.
has emerged as a specific form of Bluesnarfing that is effective at longer ranges than normally possible. According to Wired
magazine, this method surfaced at the Black Hat Briefings
and DEF CON
hacker conferences of 2004 where it was shown on the G4techTV
show The Screen Savers
For example, a "rifle" with a directional antenna, Linux
-powered embedded PC
, and Bluetooth
module mounted on a Ruger 10/22
folding stock has been used for long-range Bluesnarfing.
In popular culture
In the TV series Person of Interest
, bluesnarfing, often mistakenly referred to as bluejacking in the show and at other times forced pairing and phone cloning, is a common element in the show used to spy on and track the people the main characters are trying to save or stop.
- ^ Dagon, D.; Martin, T.; Starner, T. (2004-01-01). "Mobile Phones as Computing Devices: The Viruses are Coming!". IEEE Pervasive Computing. 3 (4): 11–15. doi:10.1109/MPRV.2004.21. ISSN 1536-1268.
- ^ Okazaki, Shintaro; Navarro-Bailón, María Ángeles; Molina-Castillo, Francisco-Jose (2012). "Privacy Concerns in Quick Response Code Mobile Promotion: The Role of Social Anxiety and Situational Involvement". International Journal of Electronic Commerce. 16 (4): 91–119. doi:10.2753/JEC1086-4415160404. hdl:10486/669231. ISSN 1086-4415. JSTOR 41739750. S2CID 33349618.
- ^ Bialoglowy, Marek, Bluetooth Security Review, Part 1, http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/bluetooth-security-review-part-1
- ^ Fuller, John, How Bluetooth Surveillance Works, http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/bluetooth-surveillance1.htm
- ^ https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4599106
- ^ Brent A Miller (13 November 2000). "Bluetooth Technology and SIG Overview". Retrieved 15 January 2019.
Mark Ciampa (2009), Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals Third Edition. Printed in Canada.
Roberto Martelloni's home page
with Linux source code of released Bluesnarfer proof-of-concept.
Last edited on 30 May 2021, at 09:58
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