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Bluebugging: What It Is, Who Is At Risk, And How To Be Safe?

By: Tech Desk

Edited By: Shaurya Sharma

News18.com

Last Updated: November 29, 2022, 12:17 IST

New Delhi, India

Thanks to an increase in the usage and production of Bluetooth earbuds like AirPods, and other TWS devices, more people are increasingly leaving their Bluetooth 'on.' 
(Representative Image)

Thanks to an increase in the usage and production of Bluetooth earbuds like AirPods, and other TWS devices, more people are increasingly leaving their Bluetooth 'on.' (Representative Image)

Here's how hackers use Bluetooth on smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices to snoop into sensitive data.

It’s no secret that most smartphones and other devices nowadays have Bluetooth set to ‘discovery mode,’ so entities like hackers may access your important information if they’re within 10 meters of your device through a process called ‘Bluebugging.’

What is Bluebugging?

Hackers use Bluetooth on smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices to snoop into sensitive data, and once a device is compromised, they can listen to calls and read messages; hence, obtaining a sensitive OTP could be a cakewalk once a phone is blue-bugged.

Who is at risk? 

Thanks to an increase in the usage and production of Bluetooth earbuds like AirPods, and other TWS devices, more people are increasingly leaving their Bluetooth ‘on.’ 

If your device’s Bluetooth is discoverable and you are within approximately 10 meters of a hacker, the chances of being susceptible to a Bluebugging hack increase.

How is your device Blue-bugged?

Once a hacker successfully pairs with your device, the next step is usually installing malware and executing brute force attacks to render your device’s security measures useless. After installing malware, getting access to your data should be a cakewalk.

How can you be safe from Bluebugging attacks?

While turning off Bluetooth may not be feasible for most people, and especially in a home setting, it may not be needed at all, but if you run errands, work in a public place, you should follow these steps:

  • Turn off Bluetooth when not in use, and disconnect paired devices.
  • Use a good VPN service.
  • Be cautious while connecting to public Wi-Fi. Avoid unknown networks or, perhaps, turn off auto-join.
  • Have the latest security updates and software your OEM has for your device.

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first published:November 29, 2022, 12:10 IST
last updated:November 29, 2022, 12:17 IST
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