Billions of devices equipped with Bluetooth are said to be vulnerable to cyber attack- all thanks to a new airborne computer virus named BlueBorne. Ty Miller, the Managing Director of Cyber Security firm Threat Intelligence revealed these details to the world and said that the virus has the ability to spread from device to device over Bluetooth without the knowledge of the device Owner.
Note- Bluetooth is a wireless technology which allows the exchange of data over short distances.
Nowadays, almost all electronic devices like TVs, mobile phones, Cameras, laptops, music systems, tablets, medical equipment, Refrigerators, Mouse, printers, keyboards are equipped with Bluetooth.
Thus, all the above-said devices which are equipped with Bluetooth are said to be vulnerable to the BlueBorne attack. And this vulnerability could prove as one of the most dangerous security flaws that have come out to date.
Since the virus spread takes place through the air and not when a victim clicks on a link or attachment; Mr. Miller said that attacks such as these could prove more dangerous than past attacks like Wannacry and Not Petya.
Ty Miller estimates that the flaw can affect up to 8 billion devices working around the world, and that’s because BlueBorne has the capability of infecting Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices released prior to iOS 10.
Remember any iPhone running on iOS 10 is immune to the said attack. Microsoft has issued a patch to fix this vulnerability on Windows 10 OS run phones in July this year. Google has issued a fix to the phones, covering every android version since KitKat.
The readers of Cybersecurity Insiders have to notify a fact over here that the said virus was identified by researchers from Armis Labs in April this year. But the company failed to promote its findings to the core via media at that time and so not much was known about the virus.
How does BlueBorne affect the devices
Researchers from Threat Intelligence say that the virus has the ability to infect the Bluetooth software on a device. Ty Miller said that the malware can spread from one device to other without the knowledge of its owner and the whole process can run in the background on a secret note.
It is like a deadly Ebola virus which infects humans and spreads through the air.
But the criterion for BlueBorne virus spread is that hackers can only target devices within their range and that too only those devices which have their Bluetooth turned on.
What does BlueBorne do when it infects a device?
The virus takes control of devices, access corporate data and networks, penetrates secure “Air gaped” networks and spreads malware laterally to adjacent devices.
What to do to stay out of it?
It’s simple, just switch off the Bluetooth on your device. But since the phones are still vulnerable when they are connected to Bluetooth device, the only recommendation is to not use the Bluetooth at all.