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Fortinet raises alarm over new Bluetooth malware

By Jonnah Pante - on 27 Sep 2017, 10:49am

Fortinet raises alarm over new Bluetooth malware

Caution for users of Bluetooth-enabled devices was raised by Fortinet upon discovering BlueBorne, a new Bluetooth exploit capable of exposing devices to attacks.

The cybersecurity solutions company said that Bluetooth-enabled devices including Android, iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows systems can be affected by BlueBorne.

It scans Bluetooth devices and looks for its important and fragile parts.

Almost everything have had Bluetooth, including electronic appliances, smartphones , and IoT devices like smart TVs, smart car gadgets, and home security systems, so the effect of this new exploit is wide in range.

“Tackling the BlueBorne exploit is challenging because Bluetooth is not a communications protocol that is monitored and inspected by most network security tools,” David Maciejak, Fortinet’s Director of Security Research, said.

He explained that since this technology has not really been a focus for security researchers, it is highly likely that we  will see an increase in attackers looking to exploit Bluetooth implementations in the future.

“Once a device has been compromised, attackers  are able to run arbitrary commands on the device and even access and potentially steal data,” Maciejak stressed.

He said that it only takes less than ten seconds to for targeted devices to be hacked.

However there are three things users can do to avoid this exploit: 1) Disable Bluetooth on your devices unless it is absolutely needed. If you turn it on, then turn it off as soon as you are done using it; 2) Identify the devices you own or that are attached to your network. Closely monitor those manufacturers for Bluetooth updates; and 3) Patch systems as soon as updates become available. Apple iOS was patched in 2016 with an iOS 10 release. Microsoft released a patch for Windows this July, while Google is known to be doing a patch distribution this time.