Bluesnarfing: why you should have Bluetooth turned off

He Bluesnarfing is a cyberattack technique that allows hackers to access information stored on devices that have Bluetooth activated, such as your phone, computer or tablet.

Unlike “bluejacking“, where unsolicited messages are simply sent, with Bluesnarfing the attacker can read, copy and even delete your personal data without you realizing it, making it much more dangerous.

This is a method that exploits vulnerabilities in older versions of the Bluetooth protocol that are not patched or configured to resist advanced attacks. In fact, very old devices are the most vulnerable, as the latest security updates to the Bluetooth standard have improved significantly.

To carry out their dark intentions, cybercriminals often use specialized software and Bluetooth devices configured to detect and exploit such vulnerabilities. Once they compromise your device, they extract the sensitive data they need and which can then be the subject of scams, extortion or can even be sold on the black market or on the Deep Web, thus compromising your privacy and personal security.

How a Bluesnarfing attack works

Typically, hackers use various tools and techniques to carry out a Bluesnarfing attack. First, they scan nearby devices that have Bluetooth enabled using specialized software.

Once identified, they take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth protocols of these devices to establish an unauthorized connection. Once inside, cyber attackers browse your device and extract the sensitive information you have stored.

It is important to note that attackers tend to primarily look for information such as contacts and messages, as they can use it to impersonate or carry out phishing attacks. In addition, they search for audiovisual records, which they can manipulate for blackmail or disseminate unauthorized material.

They are also interested in financial data, such as account numbers, card passwords and other personal data, which they use to commit financial fraud.

How to protect yourself from Bluesnarfing

Below, we offer you these recommendations that will help you protect your personal information and devices against possible Bluesnarfing attacks.

-Disable Bluetooth when not in use: Keeping Bluetooth disabled when not in use is essential to reduce the risk of data theft, given that its range is limited to about 100 meters in open fields.

-Activate invisible mode: Some devices allow you to set undetectable mode, preventing them from appearing in scans of other devices, especially useful on older phone models.

-Keep your device updated: Updating both the operating system and the applications is essential to protect yourself against possible vulnerabilities that could compromise your security and privacy.

-Avoid unknown connections: Before accepting Bluetooth pairing requests, verify the identity of that device. In case you have any doubts, it is better to reject the request and block the device from the Bluetooth settings so that it is blacklisted.

-Rename your device regularly: Changing the device name periodically makes it difficult for potential attackers to identify the type of device you are using.

-Use a secure PIN: Some devices allow you to set a PIN for Bluetooth pairing. If your mobile phone has this function, make sure you use a complex, unique code and do not share it with anyone to avoid unauthorized access.

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