Billions of Bluetooth Devices Could be Hit by ‘Highly Infectious’ Malware Attack

More than 5.3 billion devices with Bluetooth signals are at risk of a malware attack newly identified by an internet of things security company.

If you’re not keeping count, that’s most of the estimated 8.2 billion devices that use Bluetooth, which allows for our gadgets to connect and communicate wirelessly. Nearly every connected device out there has Bluetooth capability. Your phones, laptops, speakers, car entertainment systems — the list goes on and on to even the most mundane gadgets.

Because those devices can connect to others effortlessly, Bluetooth has left an open attack point for hackers, according to researchers at Armis Labs. The attack method, which they’re calling BlueBorne, is especially dangerous because it can spread without the victim doing anything or noticing it.

In a lot of cases, malware depends on people clicking on a link they shouldn’t have, or downloading a virus in disguise. With BlueBorne, all hackers need to spread malware is for their victims’ devices to have Bluetooth turned on, said Nadir Izrael, Armis’ chief technology officer.

And once one device has been infected, the malware can spread to other devices nearby with the Bluetooth turned on. By scattering over the airwaves, BlueBorne is “highly infectious,” Armis Labs said.

“We’ve run through scenarios where you can walk into a bank and it basically starts spreading around everything,” Izrael said.

The attack echoes the way the WannaCry ransomware spread earlier this year. WannaCry allegedly used the NSA’s EternalBlue vulnerability and infected computers on the same network, even though they never downloaded the virus. That ransomware infected hundreds of thousands of computers within several hours.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Cnet, Alfred Ng