Don't Be Long in the Tooth!...(and how to secure your mobile workforce devices)

By Michael Fiorito, MDS

The name Bluetooth comes from the 10th century Danish King Harald Blåtand or Harold Bluetooth in English. King Blåtand helped unite warring factions in parts of what are now Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Similarly, Bluetooth technology was created as an open standard to allow connectivity and collaboration between disparate products and industries.

And like all great empires, Bluetooth has its vulnerabilities…

Here are a some Bluetooth vulnerabilities, along with tips to secure your mobile workforce devices.

Is your Bluetooth device software long in the tooth?
Potential impacts could include: charges for expensive premium-rate or international calls, theft of sensitive data or drive-by malware downloads.
To combat this threat: Switch off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it.

Eavesdropping
Potential threat: older Bluetooth devices use versions of the Bluetooth protocol that have more security holes than a moldy slice of Swiss.
To combat this threat: Ban devices that use Bluetooth 1.x, 2.0 or 4.0-LE.

Denial of service
Potential threat: malicious attackers can crash your devices, block them from receiving phone calls and drain your battery.
To combat this threat: switch off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it!

Bluetooth headsets
Potential threat: Wright has also demonstrated serious flaws in many popular Bluetooth headsets. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, attackers can eavesdrop on your conversations with the people around you, not just your phone calls. Built-in hands-free car kits can also be vulnerable. The device becomes, in effect, a mobile bugging device, transmitting everything it hears to an attacker.
To combat this threat: Make sure you change the default PIN code to something hard to guess. Also, switch off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it!

 

See the Bigger Picture…
It’s vital to develop and communicate company policies for mobile device security – including Bluetooth – so that your business’s data aren’t compromised and your users can work safely when mobile. While all mobile devices present risks that need to be addressed, Bluetooth security is one often-overlooked piece of the mobile security puzzle.

Bottom line for now at least:
Don’t let your device software be long in the tooth! Stay current. And of course: Switch off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it!

Is Your IT Infrastructure getting Long in the Tooth?

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