Why You Should Turn Bluetooth Off When You’re Not Using It

A new cyberattack could affect your smart device without you even knowing.

BlueBorne is an attack by which hackers can take control of a device using its Bluetooth connection. The scariest part? The attack doesn’t require your device to pair with the attackers device, or even be in discoverable mode. Your Bluetooth needs to be turned on in order for it to occur.

Security firm Armis offers a detailed breakdown on why it’s such a threat. They explain,

“BlueBorne can serve any malicious objective, such as cyber espionage, data theft, ransomware, and even creating large botnets out of IoT devices like the Mirai Botnet or mobile devices as with the recent WireX Botnet. The BlueBorne attack vector surpasses the capabilities of most attack vectors by penetrating secure “air-gapped” networks which are disconnected from any other network, including the internet.”

Once BlueBorne accesses your phone via Bluetooth, it can steal your data, plant malware, spyware, ransomware, and cause numerous other issues.

The good news is that many companies are issuing updates and patches to help prevent against this type of attack. For example, Apple released a patch with their iOS 10 update. Similarly, Microsoft has provided Windows users with a security update this past July. Finally, Google is rolling out a security update to Android devices that was made available earlier this month.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is turn off your devices Bluetooth setting when you are not using it. If Bluetooth isn’t enabled, then there’s no way for BlueBorne to access your device.

Additionally, it’s a wise idea to update your device with the latest security patches.

We reccomend watching the Armis video above for a complete explanation on how BlueBorne works.


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