Bluetooth Security Risks

Sue Marquette Poremba
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A Finnish company has found that Bluetooth devices are becoming easier to exploit, making them serious security risks.


I can't say that news surprises me. In fact, I wonder what took so long. After all, now that the bad guys have moved on to mobile devices, isn't Bluetooth a logical next step?


Codenomicon research found critical problems in all Bluetooth-enabled car-kits that the company tested this year. Faulty security in the hands-free devices, according to Codenomicon can give criminals access to information on users' phones, and coding errors could lead to damage to the car's electronic system and put drivers' safety at risk. Technology Chief Ari Takanen told Reuters:

The problems are in the implementation. Coders make human mistakes. Quality of the software is rarely visible to consumers.

Reuters also asked someone from within the Bluetooth Special Interest Group to comment, and as expected, the rebuttal strongly defended the security behind Bluetooth technology.


That said, I think we live in a world now where if you are using any device that involves the exchange of data, you have to have some security concerns, and that level of concern goes up when the device uses wireless transmission. You can't put blind faith into a manufacturer's or industry's claim that the device is secure. It probably is, but the bad guys are talented at taking advantage of good security.


I don't think this will be the last we hear about Bluetooth security risks. But think about it. Driving and talking on the phone is dangerous enough, and now there might be a risk of a hacker breaking into the Bluetooth and possibly making the car unsafe to drive? That's enough to convince me to always let my calls go to voicemail while driving.

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