Today, virtually all devices have Bluetooth to easily connect with other devices or devices so they can interact with each other, for example, sharing files, playing music or exchanging information between them. All Bluetooth connections are usually encrypted so that nobody can intercept or modify them. However, a newly discovered vulnerability in the cryptography used in these connections has endangered the security of millions of Bluetooth devices.
A few hours ago, security researchers unveiled a new vulnerability that affects a large number of Bluetooth devices: CVE-2018-5383. This new security flaw is found in the cryptographic modules used to establish secure connections and can allow a remote attacker, without the need to authenticate, intercept, control and manipulate the traffic exchanged between them.
This security failure is due to two characteristics of Bluetooth, on the one hand, the implementation of Secure Connections Pairing in operating systems to establish connections through Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and on the other hand the implementation of Secure Simple Pairing in BR / EDR.
Intel, Apple, Broadcom and Qualcomm among those affected
Apparently, this security flaw affects virtually any modern Bluetooth chip, which implies that there are millions of devices of all kinds affected by this problem. According to researchers who have discovered the vulnerability, the Bluetooth chips of Intel, Apple, Broadcom and Qualcomm are affected by this security flaw, although for the moment it has not been possible to demonstrate their involvement in Google devices and systems such as Android and Linux.
Because the Secure Connections Pairing and Secure Simple Pairing features are recommended, but not mandatory , many manufacturers choose not to use them, thus creating insecure encryption keys allowing an attacker, placed within the range of the connection, to intercept, steal the data that travel through the air and even inject malware.
How to protect yourself from this Bluetooth vulnerability
To protect ourselves from these security flaws it is necessary to install, as soon as they are available, the latest security patches, both operating systems and firmware as such. Apple, on the one hand, has already updated its systems to make them safe from this vulnerability, while Intel and Broadcom are also releasing firmware updates to protect users. Qualcomm, for its part, has not made any statements about the vulnerability in its own chips.
At the moment there is no indication that this security breach has been used to spy on these connections, and it is also unlikely given the difficulty in doing so and the factors that must be met, such as having to be very close to the victims to be able to intercept the connections.
What do you think of this security flaw?