Published on: November 30, 2022

Blue bugging

Blue bugging

Why in news?  

Cyber security experts note that apps that let users connect smartphones or laptops to wireless earplugs can record conversations, and are vulnerable to hacks, even iPhones are not immune from the threats


What is Bluebugging?

  • It is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can listen to the calls, read and send messagesand steal and modify contacts.
  • It started out as a threat for laptops with Bluetooth capability. Later hackers used the technique to target mobile phones and other devices.

How does bluebugging hack devices?

  • They can install malware in the compromised device to gain unauthorised access to it by which Bluetooth is in discoverable mode and tries to pair once connection is established
  • Bluebugging can happen whenever a Bluetooth enabled device is within a 10­metre radius of the hacker

How can one prevent bluebugging ?

  • Turning off Bluetooth and disconnecting paired Bluetooth devices when not in use, updating the device’s system software to the latest version, limited use of public Wi­Fi and using VPN as an additional security measure are some of the ways to prevent bluebugging
  • Modern anti­virus softwares can also help thwart such attacks.
  • The new­age antivirus softwares are helping users to detect strange and spam like content by filtering, blocking and consistently reminding people to be alert

Which devices are most susceptible to such attacks?

  • Any Bluetooth­enabled device can be bluebugged. Wireless earbuds are susceptible to such hacks.
  • Apps that enable users to connect to their TWS (True Wireless Stereo) devices or earbuds can record conversations. The apps of these TWS devices can record conversations