Major Vulnerability found with Bluetooth

Do you use a Bluetooth device? If you do listen up as a major vulnerability to Bluetooth devices has been discovered. The vulnerability is very serious and could impact millions of people. It just goes to show how vulnerable our devices truly are and underscores the importance of keeping a device up to date to lessen the chance of anything malicious happening.

Do you have a Bluetooth Device?

This does not affect all Bluetooth devices. Instead it affects any device using four different Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chips made by Texas Instruments otherwise known as Bluetooth 4.0. These chips can be found in devices made by Cisco, Meraki and Aruba. These chips boast a longer battery life and have been incorporated into many devices found today, particularly medical devices and many Bluetooth devices connected to the Internet of Things. It is believed that these chips account for as much as 70% of Bluetooth devices in use today so there is a good chance that if you have a Bluetooth device you have one.

The Vulnerabilities

There are actually two vulnerabilities and have been dubbed Bleeding Bit by Armis Labs who found them. Essentially these vulnerabilities allow an attacker to gain access to a network undetected and then take control of an access point. At that point they can move between network segments and create bridges between them, thereby destroying any segmentation.

The first vulnerability involves how networks analyze data packets. It is typically six bits in length but BLE chips allow for two extra bits so anything that an attacker would like to add on can be added and it will not be analyzed which could lead to buffer overflow and give the attacker full control of an access point. The second takes advantage of a feature that was supposed to be a developmental tool called Over the Air Download which allows for software upgrades. No security measures were included with the feature and thus any malicious code can be sent which allow an attacker to gain control access to the network.

Where are these devices typically found?

These chips are commonly found in wireless access points, in smart locks in hotels and offices, cars and in medical centers where they are commonly used to track the location of valuable assets or assets that could be needed at a moment’s notice. The vulnerabilities are exacerbated by poor network or cyber security or their use with a myriad of third-party devices.

The good news

Now the good news. First, for anyone to exploit the vulnerability they need to be within range of the device to connect. This cannot be done remotely, and it makes the chances of the offender being caught much greater. Second, the vulnerability has already been patched by Texas Instruments recently and several weeks ago by Cisco and Meraki (which is owned by Cisco) well before Armis released the information to the public. Cisco and Texas Instruments recommend that any user who has not installed the patch do it immediately. In this case the issue was found by the good guys and was fixed well before the public became aware of it.

Keeping any technology up to date is a good idea and this runs the gambit from your website to the technology that you use in your home. Vulnerabilities are being discovered all of the time and are being patched but it still requires YOU to install the update. Until you do, your device is vulnerable and there can be a lot of consequences, none of which are good. It can seem daunting but it is something that will never end. If there is some good news, Nicely Done Sites can take care of this kind of work for your websites. We offer a monthly maintenance agreement so that your website will be as safe and secure as possible so that you will be able to do whatever it is that you do knowing that your website is safe.

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