Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 Epic Bluetooth Hacks and Why

“Hacking” brings to mind spies, intrigue and Wall Street panics, but that is just one side of the hacking story. The Urban Dictionary ( ) has a pair of definitions for “hack” that apply here. The first definition extols hacking as “arguably a mystical art”, the “domain of digital poets”. The second definition, “to break into computer systems with malicious intent” is the more popular form played up in the media and Hollywood.

Bluetooth technology has made the transition from techno-phenomenon to core functionality in just a few short years and hacking into Bluetooth probably began even before the general application was pervasive. One of the many reasons for the prevalence of Bluetooth hacking is the open nature of the system itself, which gave “mystical artists” and even journeyman hackers plenty of canvas to work on.

Hacking has raised many ethical questions, but there is no doubt that such new technology can be used for good purposes. It is also quite true, however, that hacks can be used for not-so-good purposes.

 Below are some notable Bluetooth hacks:
  1. Super Bluetooth Hack 1.08 – Multifunctional program for controlling and reading information via remote Bluetooth or infra.
  2. BlueScanner – Tied into a social networking game, BlueScanner literally allows the user to scan for nearby enabled Bluetooth devices. Points are awarded when your scanner identifies a Bluetooth app correctly.
  3. Bluediving – A penetration detection suite that can assess security threats to Bluetooth devices. This can also be used to install security threats by remote control.
  4. Bluejacking – Unsolicited messages are sent to Bluetooth enabled devices, and are usually just a prank, though more malicious uses are possible.
  5. BTCrawler – This is a Bluetooth scanner for Windows mobile devices. Users can make service queries of their own device, and other nearby devices. There are also troubleshooting capacities.
  6. Cambridgeshire, England – In 2005, thieves used Bluetooth technology to track other Bluetooth enabled devices in parked cars.
  7. Hostile Takeover – A recent item in Microsoft’s Browser Security News mentions an available patch for a breach that would allow hackers to send “malicious Bluetooth wireless packets”.
  8. BlueSnarfing – This hack can be used to access almost all information in nearby devices, and can shut the victim’s phone down completely.
  9. BlueBugging – An “oldie” in Bluetooth hacking, BlueBugging was introduced in 2004, and with it, hackers are able to literally “takeover” a victim’s mobile device and use it as their own.
  10. BTBrowser – This J2ME application can browse and explore the specs of surrounding devices.
Remember the location of your “off” button; closing the app is the best protection against unwanted hacking. Another tip is to avoid using a default pin number, as these are easy prey for hackers.

Contacts and sources:
Story by Kate Croston

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