Black Hat

Hacking Bluetooth

Hacking Bluetooth: Another wireless technology to consider is Bluetooth, which is seen in many mobile devices in today’s marketplace.

Bluetooth refers to a short-range wireless technology commonly used to connect devices such as headsets, media players, and other types of technologies.

Bluetooth operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency range and is designed to work at distances up to 10 meters (33 feet).

NOTE: There are four generations of Bluetooth technologies and each has different specifications.

Currently, Bluetooth is able to operate beyond 10 meters, but you will not be tested on the specifics of each generation.

When you are working with Bluetooth devices, there are some specifics to keep in mind about the devices and how they operate.

First, the device can operate in one of the following modes:

Discoverable: This allows the device to be scanned and located by other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Limited Discoverable: This mode is becoming more commonly used; in this mode the devices will be discoverable by other Bluetooth devices for a short period of time before it returns to being nondiscoverable.

Nondiscoverable: As the name suggests, devices in this mode cannot be located by other devices. However, if another device has previously found the system, it will still be able to do so.


In addition to the device being able to be located, it can be paired with other devices to allow communications to occur.

A device can be in pairing or nonpairing mode; pairing means it can link with another device and nonpairing means it cannot.

Of course, one of the issues that needs to be addressed when targeting Bluetooth devices is the lack of range; 33 feet is not that far.

Staying calm and collected as well as undetected is tough when in such close proximity of a target. So we need to be able to do something about the range question.

To tackle this problem we can incorporate the use of an industrial-level Bluetooth adapter.

One notable option in this area is the UD100 from Sena Technologies.

This adapter can extend the range of Bluetooth from 300 to 1000 meters (1000 feet to 3300 feet) depending on whether an external adapter is used or not. By using this adapter, it is possible to dramatically increase the range of your attacks.


NOTE: Although Bluetooth has a fairly limited range in most cases (new generations notwithstanding), it is possible to extend your attack range if you do your research.

A few short years ago the magazine popular Science published information on how to extend the range of Bluetooth significantly elbow grease and an investment of $100—and about a half hour of time—you too can create an antenna that can more than quadruple the range of a standard Bluetooth system.

If you are feeling ambitious, you can even visit Youtube and learn how to make your own “Bluetooth sniper rifle” to extend the range of the technology as well.


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