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What is Bluesnarfing? – Important, Going, and More

What is Bluesnarfing?

Bluesnarfing is the theft of information via Bluetooth. Hackers do this by sneaking into mobile devices: smartphones, laptops, tablets, or personal digital assistants (PDAs) whose connection has been left open by their owners. This involves exploiting Bluetooth vulnerabilities to recover data such as text or email messages, contact lists, etc.

It’s easy to fall victim to a bluesnarfing attack if you are used to using Bluetooth in public places, and your phone is usually in discoverable mode.

Perhaps the best-known case of bluesnarfing is that of Google in 2013. The tech giant admitted to collecting data from unencrypted wireless networks, bluesnarfing in its original form. Among the information obtained are emails and passwords. As a result, Google paid $ 7 settlement million.

Why is Bluesnarfing Important?

bluesnarfing

As you can imagine, it can be troublesome. It exposes things like emails, contact lists, and text messages to prying eyes. And those eyes can have less than good designs. Examples include someone who doesn’t like reading the content of your text messages, paparazzi who have access to emails sent between movie stars, or thieves who capture essential contact information for a Fortune 500 CEO. And also, all without your knowledge or approval. Results can range from uncomfortable to catastrophic. You need some method to protect yourself from these types of threats.

How is Bluesnarfing Going?

To understand how bluesnarfing does, it is essential first to know how Bluetooth works. Bluetooth-enabled devices communicate with each other using Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX).

The OBEX protocol has inherent security vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit using tools like Bluediving. With it, attackers can search for and pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices without the knowledge of their owners.

If they have programming skills, attackers can create their own blues storytelling tool. However, even those who don’t know how to code can use bluesnarf to steal data. There are ready-to-use attack tools available online. There are also bluesnarfer rental services that you can use.

History of Bluesnarfing

Researcher Marcel Holtmann discovered bluesnarfing for the first time. However, this makes public when A.L. Digital revealed a susceptibility on a blog. He found the germ in November 2003 and wanted to notify Bluetooth device manufacturers immediately.

Today, hackers can easily access bluesnarfing tools and services on the Dark Web. All they initially need is a downloadable penetration testing utility like Bluediving. This tool classifies if a device is susceptible to being attacked by bluenoses. Once they discover that a device is vulnerable, the hacker can do any of the following:

  • Perform a bluesnarf attack on your own if you have enough programming skills.
  • Hire a bluesnarfing striker;
  • Get Code Snippets from Websites That Teach Bluesnarf;
  • As you can see, it is not that difficult to launch bluesnarfing attacks.

Do you want to know how to protect yourself from them? Then keep reading.

How to Prevent Bluesnarfing?

bluesnarfing

Since the attack trusts on Bluetooth connections, the most logical and safest way to counter it is to turn off the Bluetooth function of your device when it is not in use. Here are some other best practices to avoid falling victim to bluenoses:

  • Use a personal identification number (PIN) of at least eight characters, making it more difficult for attackers to crack.
  • Take advantage of your phone’s security features like two-factor authentication (2FA). This way, your approval is required for all joining requests.
  • Do not accept pairing needs from unknown devices.
  • Disable discovery mode on your phone to make it invisible to unknown devices.

Bluesnarfing vs Bluejacking vs Bluebugging

bluesnarfing

Bluesnarfing, bluejacking, and bluebugging are all cyberattacks that can carry out on Bluetooth-enabled devices, but they have significant differences in their purposes and implementation.

It sometimes confuses with bluejacking, which is another type of Bluetooth hack. The main change between bluejacking and bluesnarfing is that the previous involves transmitting data to the target device while the latter requires data theft.

Bluejacking

Bluejacking generally involves sending unsolicited messages or advertisements to the target device and is considered less severe than bluesnarfing. A bluejacking attack is much easier to perform than a bluesnarfing attack and was used frequently in the early days of Bluetooth as a joke.

Bluebugging

Bluebugging is a kind of attack that goes outside the data theft inherent in bluesnarfing. In a bluebugging episode, the hacker takes control of the functions of the target device, such as making phone calls, setting up call furtherance, or sending text messages. Bluebugging lets the hacker to snoop on phone calls without the victim realizing that their phone has been “tampered with.”

While the thought of falling victim to a bluesnarfing attack sounds scary, the good news is that Bluetooth security has improved dramatically since the early 2000s. Setting your phone to “hidden” or “undetectable” offers valuable protection against potential hackers in most bags.

Conclusion

It is a device hack performed when a Bluetooth-enabled wireless device is in discoverable mode. And also, allows hackers to remotely access data from Bluetooth devices, such as a user’s calendar, contact list, emails, and text messages. This attack carries out without the knowledge of the victim.

Also Read: What is a Diverse Group of People? – How to Make, and More

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