New malware spreads through active Bluetooth connections

The BlueBorne malware is transmitted wirelessly through Bluetooth, enabling hackers to gain complete control over the device.

While technology is progressing at a rapid pace, it also has to deal with data privacy. The WannaCry attack from a few months ago had shaken the world of IT, showing that data security has to be taken seriously across all platforms. Now, there’s another one in the market that poses an even serious threat to all devices equipped with Bluetooth.

Armis Labs have released a video showing a new kind of malware that spreads through Bluetooth and can pose a serious threat to smartphones, tablets, computers or anything that has Bluetooth. The malware known by the name of BlueBorne can spread to all devices in the vicinity of the hacker’s source device through active Bluetooth connections. The malware can give complete remote control of the device to a hacker, who can then carry out a WannaCry-like attack once again by spreading malicious content. All of this can happen in the background, without the devices showing any kind of signs.

BlueBorne can affect devices running on popular platforms from Microsoft, Apple and Google. However, devices running the latest version of Microsoft Windows 10 and Apple’s latest iOS 10 are protected from this threat. Google also has fixed the issue with the August patch, which has already been rolled out to Pixel, Nexus and Android One devices. If your device hasn’t received the latest security updates, then it is advisable to keep the Bluetooth switched off until you download the latest patch.

One major issue with some platforms like Android and Windows is that not all the devices receive security updates, especially old and entry-level devices. According to Armis’ data, over 180 million Android devices are running on software that won’t be updated with the latest security patch. Similarly, Apple devices running iOS 9.3 or before are also vulnerable, even though Apple says iOS users needn’t worry. The only solution to this issue then is to avoid using Bluetooth connectivity until a security patch arrives or you upgrade to a newer device running the latest software.

(With inputs from a CNET report , also published on Deccan Chronicle)

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