Billions Of Devices At Risk From Bluetooth Flaws — Blueborne Attacks

BlueBorne Vulnerabilities Impact Over 5 Billion Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

For example, a delivery person dropping a package at a bank could carry weaponized code on a BlueTooth-enabled device. The vulnerabilities affect unpatched versions of Google Android, Microsoft Windows, Linux operating system, and Apple iOS.

BlueBorne, as the researchers have dubbed their attack, is notable for its unusual reach and effectiveness. This would enable attackers to download malware to devices and take complete control of them.

Security researchers have discovered a set of severe vulnerabilities affecting devices that connect via Bluetooth.

Armis Labs argued that current security measures such as endpoint protection, mobile data management, firewalls, and network security solutions are not created to deal with airborne attacks, because their main focus is to block attacks that happen over IP connections.

Several companies, including software and device makers, were notified of the vulnerabilities in April and have since rolled out patches. A spokesperson for Microsoft claimed it first released patches for BlueBorne in July this year. It plans to make the patch available starting today for users of the Pixel XL and other Google-branded phones, but if past security bulletins are any guide, it may take weeks before over-the-air fixes are available to all users.

The researchers said they expect Linux, which is an open source project managed by a community of volunteers, to release a fix soon.

The vulnerability uncovered by Armis in older versions of iOS had been fixed by Apple in iOS 10 and Apple TV 7.2.2.

The majority of Android phones, tablets, and wearables - except devices only with Bluetooth Low Energy - are vulnerable to two memory corruption-based remote code execution flaws, an information leak bug, and a data intercepting man-in-the-middle attack. The Bluetooth functionality in both OSes also runs with high system privileges, allowing the resulting infection to access sensitive system resources and survive multiple reboots.

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"In some areas the Bluetooth specifications leave too much room for interpretation, causing fragmented methods of implementation in the various platforms, making each of them more likely to contain a vulnerability of its own", the company said.

Adding to the increasing potential for attack is the fact that just about every electronic device includes support for Bluetooth connectivity. It could also change data in transit. The Android implementation is vulnerable to the same attack. The researchers consider three of the flaws to be critical. All parties agreed to keep the findings confidential until today's coordinated disclosure.

These vulnerabilities are the most serious Bluetooth vulnerabilities identified to date.

More information on the attack can be found below.

What makes BlueBorne special is that unlike similar attacks such as the recent one against Broadcom Wi-Fi chips, which also happened to be airborne, the BlueBorne attack doesn't affect only the peripherals of a device but can give an attacker full control over the infected device right from the start.

Typical of most proof-of-concept exploits, the BlueBorne attacks demonstrated in the videos are relatively simple. "The vulnerability resides in the PAN profile of the Bluetooth stack, and enables the attacker to create a malicious network interface on the victim's device, re-configure IP routing and force the device to transmit all communication through the malicious network interface". Such self-replicating exploits could quickly take over huge numbers of devices at conferences, sporting events, or in work places. The vulnerabilities reported by Armis now reinforce the wisdom of that advice.

Finally there is a Remote Code Execution vulnerability in Apple's Low Energy Audio Protocol, that now does not yet have CVE number assigned.

BlueBorne - WannaCry of the Bluetooth world?


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