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Towards a Universal Security Solution against Bluetooth Low Energy Attacks

Bitdefender

July 13, 2020

Towards a Universal Security Solution against Bluetooth Low Energy Attacks

For the past couple of years, Bluetooth has become the de-facto standard in low-range communication, with a particular impact on smart home and IoT development. From smart speakers to smart lights and everything in between, Bluetooth makes connectivity and communication as easy as pressing a button.

Over the years, the research community has uncovered and documented a wide range of security flaws in BLE devices. By far, the most prevalent hacks against BLE involve capturing handshakes, hard-coded keys and replay attacks. Despite the increased interest in the offensive side though, a universal defense mechanism against such attacks hadn’t arrived.

At Bitdefender, we’re constantly innovating in the cyber-security space. Researchers Cristian Munteanu, Balint Szente, and Gyula Farkas in the Bitdefender Cyber-Threat Intelligence Lab have drafted a technology that runs on a Bluetooth device and that uses statistics to detect impersonation attacks against Bluetooth Low Energy devices.

Why is this important?

As more and more independent security researchers look into IoT devices, more and more vulnerabilities are uncovered. Many times, device vendors deliver receive punctual fixes or extra hardening, without holistically addressing the issue. Many times, vendors treat these issues as features, or ignore them altogether and save some effort for feature development. A separate security technology that runs on the device would let vendors focus on developing the product rather than fight vulnerabilities.

Wait, there is more

We have summarized this new technology in a patent application, as well as in a technical whitepaper available on the Bitdefender Research portal. If you want to learn more, download the paper here.

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