All Microsoft and Apple device users should turn off their device Bluetooth when not in use as hackers can exploit certain vulnerabilities in the said communication medium for espionage-related activities. The susceptibility is said to compromise iOS, Microsoft and users of wearable devices such Fitbits extremely.
Users of Android-based OS devices are reported to be exempted from the security alert by the researchers.
Johannes Becker, a Boston based University Graduate researcher was the guy who found out the flaw and declared that Apple gadgets like iPads, and iPhones, and Watches were vulnerable to cyber crooks along with devices like Surface tablets, laptops, and Fitbits from Microsoft.
According to a paper published by the Boston University’s researcher, the exploit focuses on the way devices are being paired with each another
Technically speaking, when one device tries to establish a connection with another device, the receiving devices send out some data related to the connection to the former which is similar to an IP address. Generally, such connections are supposed to be a random address reconfiguring them to protect the identity of users. But when a sniffer program like a spying agent tries to intercept these connections, hackers will be able to track down the devices even after an address change.
Microsoft and Apple-related devices are said to be implementing address randomizations by default as a means to prevent long term passive tracking says the research covered by Boston University researchers.
As the basic info is being relayed in plain text instead of encryption, the vulnerability seems to be getting severe. Means data does not need to be hacked, rather than the public info which is being transmitted is being scraped behind the scenes.
Restarting the device did not change the access address say, experts.
Fitbit users are at high risk say experts as the device access address doesn’t change making the device users vulnerable to stalking, abuse or spying.
And the only way to come out of this trouble is to keep the Bluetooth feature in ‘Off’ mode when not in use.