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Bluetooth Security Risk?


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#1 Anonix

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:37 PM

CNN reported on the DEFCON meetup in Vegas, which was described as the most dangerous place on the planet if you are worried about getting hacked. If anyone has read my older posts, you will know that I am a tad paranoid about security, but before you scream 'where's the tinfoil hat', I think my fears are justified. Every day I see more horror stories about cybercrime, etc. Anyway, the person who penned CNN's DEFCON story (I assume it was a reporter) was given a 'list' of things he/she needed to do prior to attending the convention, to protect their data from hackers. One of the items on that list was 'disable Bluetooth'.

Of course I immediately looked up 'Bluetooth'. I have a lit-up blue icon on my laptop, which means it's on. I did not know having that presented any kind of security risk. When I look at the device manager, I see TEN connections labeled as follows: "Toshiba BT Port (COMM10)", and next is (COMM11), etc. etc. The BT stands for BlueTooth. I do not have any wireless devices other than a keyboard, and the keyboard came with a USB dealie as a 'plug n play'. I found a legend with the different meanings of the blue tooth symbols, and see the one that is showing on my laptop means nothing is connected via BlueTooth. That symbol is miniscule and VERY hard to even see, btw. But whatever.

So, nothing will happen when I disable all these BlueTooth ports that are "connected", right? Any reason why I should not disable them all?

Just when I think I have all the bases covered and am 'secure' (or at least as secure as one can be), then I learn otherwise. Would appreciate anyone weighing in on just what kind of risk having had all these ports enabled (and unused) for YEARS really is. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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#2 TheShooter93

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:01 PM

So, nothing will happen when I disable all these BlueTooth ports that are "connected", right? Any reason why I should not disable them all?

Unless you use devices that connect by Bluetooth, you're free to disable them.

Would appreciate anyone weighing in on just what kind of risk having had all these ports enabled (and unused) for YEARS really is. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Bluetooth only has a theoretical connection distance of up to ~100 meters. In practical situations, it's more like a few feet.

There's a million different theoretical ways that your security could be breached if someone really wanted to -- look at the news and how teenagers are hacking into government agencies, etc.

I guarantee you that you have nothing to worry about with these ports being enabled or disabled.

The reason they had to turn their Bluetooth connections off was because of their surroundings. Bluetooth is a connection to a PC, just like a network adapter, USB connection, etc. In normal circumstances (I assume like yours), you have nothing to worry about.

If you plan on going to the DEFCON meeting in Vegas, make sure those ports are turned off. :thumbsup:

Edited by TheShooter93, 07 August 2011 - 09:03 PM.

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#3 Anonix

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:52 PM

Hey thanks. I tried reading up on "BlueTooth and security risks" but my eyes started crossing. You made it easier...I'll relax now. Before I faded out, I did see something that said connections could be made via BT up to 33 feet, which would mean any of my wonky neighbors with an iPhone might glom on to me (OK...not likely, so I'll stop now). Not going to DEF CON, but it sounds like a blast.

#4 TheShooter93

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:59 PM

You're welcome. :thumbup2:

Edited by TheShooter93, 08 August 2011 - 11:59 PM.

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