4 Ways Big Data Has Made Bluetooth A Terrifying Security Risk

Big data has made bluetooth a major security risk. Here's how this can happen, and why it's important to know about.

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May 15, 2019
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Big data has created both positive and negative impacts on digital technology. On the one hand, big data technology has made it easier for companies to serve their customers. On the other hand, big data has created a number of security risks that they need to be aware of, especially with brands leveraging Hadoop technology.

Big data has created a number of security risks for Bluetooth users. They need to be aware of how their data is stored and the precautions that they need to take.

Bluetooth Security Risks in the Age of Big Data

A few years ago, Information Week published an article on Bluetooth and big data. They said that Bluetooth saw big data as its salvation. Today, the company has discovered that data has created a number of risks.

Some say that Bluetooth technology is dying out, but that is far from the truth. There are billions of Bluetooth-enabled devices in the world that use this technology. Big data has helped the company modernize its offerings. Even though WiFi has replaced our need for Bluetooth to transfer files, people still use it with their headsets, speakers, and other devices. But while Bluetooth allows for an automatic and wireless connection, it can also be a major security risk, as it leaves data vulnerable to interception.

Hackers often use a Bluetooth connection to spread malicious files and viruses. This means that users’ personal information is at risk every time they use a Bluetooth device. The best way to reduce the risk is to turn Bluetooth off. But let’s face it – that’s not really an option.

Therefore, users need to implement various security measures, like using a VPN or data encryption apps. This is where big data could actually be invaluable. New data driven security solutions have proven to be very effective.  Read on to learn four reasons why Bluetooth is a security risk, as well as how you can protect your device.

Common Bluetooth Security Problems

The four most common Bluetooth security issues include bluebugging, bluejacking, blueborne, and bluesnafing. We’ll briefly cover each one before we move on to safety measures.

#1 Bluebugging

Bluebugging is a very common Bluetooth-related hack where hackers use someone’s Bluetooth-enabled phone to make calls and send or read messages. They use a variety of data mining tools to make this possible. These messages might encourage the recipient to take some sort of action that can lead to further data exploitation. What makes bluebugging so dangerous is that the real owner of the device doesn’t know that their number is being used to send those texts. Therefore, they cannot warn the recipient to ignore the content they receive.

#2 Bluejacking

The bluejacking method refers to a simple hack where the attacker sends a message to a nearby Bluetooth user. If targeted, your smartphone then adds the sender to the address book as a contact. The hacker can use this position to send harmful messages that open automatically on your screen. Bluejacking is mostly just annoying, but it can lead to serious problems, so it’s best to secure your device.

#3 Blueborne

Blueborne is perhaps the most dangerous attack. This term refers to a data vector that invades users’ devices via Bluetooth. It can recognize the vulnerabilities in the system and use them against the user. What makes Blueborne so dangerous is the fact that this method does not require the two devices to be paired together. Attackers can even target the devices that are not set in “visible” mode. New machine learning tools have helped them learn to penetrate security more easily than ever. They are then able to take complete control over the device and access any data stored within. Hackers often use the devices that they control to execute larger attacks.

#4 Bluesnarfing

Last but not least, Bluesnarfing refers to the theft of data through unauthorized access via Bluetooth. Hackers often combine the methods of Bluebugging and Bluesnarfing to enter a user’s device and steal data such as text messages, contacts, passwords, or call information.

How to Reduce Bluetooth Security Risks

#1 Turn Off When Not In Use

Hackers are more likely to target people who leave Bluetooth turned on for longer periods of time. Make sure to turn off Bluetooth whenever you are not using it to minimize the risk of an attack.

#2 Keep Your Devices Up to Date

It is essential to use the latest version of Bluetooth and make sure the OS is up to date. Updates carry important bug fixes and solutions that can prevent security attacks. Without them, your device will be vulnerable and visible to hackers who are looking for their next target.

#3 Pair Trusted Devices Only

When using Bluetooth, only pair your phone with devices that you are familiar with. Make sure the other device is also using the latest and updated version of Bluetooth to reduce the risk of data interception.

#4 Use a VPN

Finally, use a virtual private network to encrypt your data and secure the device. Choose a VPN that offers a strong encryption protocol with plenty of server locations. Besides increasing security levels, a VPN will allow you to access geo-restricted content and browse the internet anonymously.

What is the Solution?

Manufacturers and system developers consistently work on improving Bluetooth connections and devices in general. But attackers can always use new data technology and machine learning to find a new way to hack your devices.

Bluetooth attacks can be carried out so easily because people either forget to disable it on their phones or they are entirely unaware of the risks involved. Either way, it is important to stay informed on the latest security risks, like the ones mentioned above. And if you follow the suggested safety measures, you will reduce the chances of your phone getting hacked.

Big Data is Both a Security Liability and Asset for Bluetooth

Big data has created a number of complications for Bluetooth users. While data has created a number of security vulnerabilities, it has also led to new defenses such as VPNs. It is important to be aware of these solutions and take all necessary precautions to keep data safe.