James Tidwell July 31, 2018

A serious flaw has been found in Bluetooth’s wireless protocol that is giving hackers ample opportunities to steal and tamper with the user’s data. This flaw has been detected in multitude of devices, and the manufacturers are accordingly trying to fix this vulnerability. The people at the most risk are those who use their devices constantly to connect them to each other using the Bluetooth protocols. A fix should be installed by such people on their devices at the earliest. A paper that was published on Wednesday disclosed this attack.

The issue is worrisome as it allows hackers to execute a man-in-the-middle attack between the targeted devices. The hackers can then view any confidential or secure information such as personal files, contact lists, and even confidential information such as medical reports. Additionally, they may also be able to open malicious web pages on the affected device. The attack involves the use of an encryption key known to the hackers, which would allow easy modification of data that is being wirelessly transferred. The attack has been found to be successful on 50% of pairings, while a passive attack that is related to the man-in-the-middle active attack was found to work in case of 25% of pairings. These attacks are easily managed by hackers even when the pairing needs a 6-digit authentication. However, the attacks work only when both the devices involved are vulnerable. The devices from manufacturers such as Huawei and LG, as well as those using macOS or iOS, have been provided with patches to fix this issue.

Meanwhile, it was found that Russian hackers had hacked into systems involving the energy sector, as well as aviation and critical manufacturing. They had unlocked these systems using the most basic hacking tool, tricking the staff into entering the passwords. The hackers had the power to cause a complete blackout, but instead, they chose to do a reconnaissance of the systems. The victims ranged from smaller organizations with low levels of cybersecurity to large organizations with sophisticated security levels. The Government put out a statement that it had helped industries in dealing with the majority of this issue.

James Tidwell

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