Security risks from Bluetooth devices

Symantec has raised an alarm over a number of security threats propagated on mobile devices with Bluetooth technology. The cause for the alert was findings of the research firm Insight Express that 73 percent of mobile device users are not aware of the security risks associated with Bluetooth-equipped devices.

Here's a list of various security hazard techniques:

  • Bluejacking: A method for sending anonymous text messages to mobile phone users
  • Bluespamming: An extended version of bluejacking where contacts on a phone can be sent messages without the user noticing the spamming
  • Bluesnarfing: The process by which a hacker gains access to information stored on a device without the user's knowledge
  • Bluebugging: The most serious of all threats that gives hackers access to commands of the handset, which allows them to make phone calls, send and write messages, and eavesdrop on conversations

Owing to the signal strength of Bluetooth, the attacks are effective within a distance of only 10m. The precautionary measures include installing firewalls, anti-viruses, and most importantly disabling Bluetooth functionality on the phone when it's not in use. More details are available within this article from Yahoo Tech.