Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

5 billion Bluetooth devices at risk as 'BlueBorne' malware spreads

5 billion Bluetooth devices at risk as 'BlueBorne' malware spreads

It can affect devices within a 32 feet range, and hackers will be able to access and extract confidential data from the network.

"Just by having Bluetooth on, we can get malicious code on your device", Nadir Izrael, CTO and co-founder of security firm Armis, told Ars Technica.

Discovered by security company Armis, the BlueBorne threat is a collection of eight exploits that can be used immediately against no less than 5.3 billion devices. They can also conduct man-in-the-middle attacks.

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Criminal gangs could use it to send you ransomware which lets them steal your naughty videos and personal photos and force you to pay for their safe return.

"Unlike the common misconception, Bluetooth enabled devices are constantly searching for incoming connections from any devices, and not only those they have been paired with".

Tech experts have issued an urgent warning about a terrifying virus has the power to spread through almost every gadget in the world using its Bluetooth connection. They affect Android, iOS, Windows and Linux devices. This makes it much more contagious and allows it to spread with the minimum of effort, the company adds.

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In total Armis Labs estimates that more than 2 billion devices will never be patched, and will therefore remain vulnerable to BlueBorne. Attempts to reach Samsung for comment were unsuccessful. Armis says new solutions are needed to address the new airborne attack vector. That's well above the number of Android devices out in the wild, as it includes everything that comes with Bluetooth connectivity. "BlueBourne shows why it's so urgent for businesses to ensure that every web, desktop and mobile application has a unique machine identity so that they can maintain constant visibility and control". However, a new strain of recently discovered malware has an ability to spread via Bluetooth, which is now estimated to be available on 8.2 billion devices. If you have a device with Bluetooth (except those using only Bluetooth Low Energy) that's running an unpatched version of the software then it is vulnerable to BlueBorne.

Users who discover that this is not the case may want to turn off Bluetooth for the time being as it is probably the only option to protect the device from attacks targeting the vulnerabilities.

"For a while, Bluetooth vulnerabilities had died down as the industry responded and fixed known exploits, but this incident may be the tip of the iceberg once again".

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