New hack cracks 'secure' Bluetooth devices

    Date03 Jun 2005
    18841
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Cryptographers have discovered a way to hack Bluetooth-enabled devices even when security features are switched on. The discovery may make it even easier for hackers to eavesdrop on conversations and charge their own calls to someone else’s cellphone.

    Bluetooth is a protocol that allows different devices including phones, laptops, headsets and printers to communicate wirelessly over short ranges - typically between 10 and 100 metres.

    Over the past few years security experts have devised many ways of hacking into Bluetooth communications, but most require the Bluetooth security features to be switched off.

    In April 2004, UK-based Ollie Whitehouse, at that time working for security firm @Stake, showed that even Bluetooth devices in secure mode could be attacked. His method allowed someone to hijack the phone, giving them the power to make calls as if it were in their own hands.

    But this technique did not pose a serious risk because it could be performed only if the hacker happened to catch two Bluetooth devices just before their first communication, during a process known as “pairing

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