Bluetooth Can Be Hacked To Trace Your Location; Android Devices Vulnerable To This Privacy Abuse?
Of all the funky and trendy electronic gadgets available in the market today, Bluetooth enabled devices are presumably the ones gaining a lot of popularity ever since their launch.
But did you know that there is a glitch in these devices that will disclose your information, such as your location to third parties?
Yes, you read that right. Your favorite Fitbit or any other Bluetooth device that you are using can reveal your location and other such private data to unknown entities.
What is this glitch in Bluetooth devices that is capable of leaking our data without our consent? Read on and find out right here!
Boston University Researchers Find Out Glitch In Bluetooth Devices
A professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Boston University, David Starobinski along with his team has discovered this issue with Bluetooth devices. The issue is present in multiple high-profile gadgets that are powered by Bluetooth and can leak your private data such as your locations and activities to unknown parties.
One of the graduate researchers on the team spoke about the issue saying that the team was trying to find out issues related to privacy with IoT protocols and products. Every second person is walking around with a Bluetooth enabled device nowadays, which makes it more relevant.
As per Starobinski, the features that permit a device to authenticate or identify its users correctly can be misused by a third unknown party to track a person. If this information falls in the wrong hands, the danger in such situations is extreme.
He said, “On the one hand, you can authenticate because you have these unique signatures of your devices. But on the other hand, you also have the issue that the same feature can be used by a third party to track you. So, it’s a double-edged sword.”
Examples of such features are saved paired device information or a fingerprint passcode.
How Is The Information Leaked?
The team of researchers at Boston University have said that the information is being leaked in the way of functioning of the Bluetooth devices, and in the way they communicate with each other for making a connection.
Before the Bluetooth devices start transferring information, they decide on which device plays the main role, and which one plays the peripheral role. Once this is decided, the main device starts searching for signals sent by the peripheral device.
These signals mean that the device is available for connection, and they carry a unique address, which is similar to the IP address of a computer, and a “payload containing data about the connection”.
Are Android Devices Vulnerable?
No. As per the researchers, Android devices might be free of this glitch, and ‘don’t appear to be vulnerable’, however, Windows 10 and iOS devices can be tracked. Fitbits are especially at risk, as these devices don’t update addresses or randomize them either. This makes the user and his location weaker.