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Bluetooth Hacking is becoming a serious problem

DISABLE (TURN OFF) BLUETOOTH WHEN NOT IN USE!

Do you know how vulnerable your mobile phone and other Bluetooth devices are for attacks when you walk around with Bluetooth enabled?

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Many people believe that their mobile phone cannot be hacked because Bluetooth is such a short-range communication method, but the fact is that hackers can easily connect and manipulate your mobile phone within a range of 10-15 meters simply by using a Bluetooth connection. The hacking process is easy for hackers, because all they need is special software on their mobile phones, laptops or netbooks in addition to some basic knowledge.

Bluetooth opens doors for hackers, so it is very important to learn how it works and how to proactively protect your mobile phone and Bluetooth devices.

Today's mobile phones have Bluetooth by default for wireless headsets, in-car connection, computer syncing and several other uses.

While we enjoy the use of Bluetooth for making purchases, for storing private data, critical personal and financial information, we also allow hackers access to our sensitive information when we forget to disable Bluetooth after use.

A mobile phone is like a mini-computer, and just like computers have always been susceptible for attacks, the same is now true for mobile phones and mobile devices. Bluetooth provides a perfect entry point for manipulation when it is enabled, because it is broadcastings to all other Bluetooth-based devices within range that: “hello, contact me, I am activated!“ And you cannot imagine how easy it is for the hackers to get control over your phone, headset or netbook when you are in a public place; in a bar, restaurant, train station or on a bus.

The hacker who has special software installed on his mobile phone, laptop, or netbook will know which ones to target very easily. All the hacker has to do is to walk around among people in public places and let his electronics do all the work or he can sit down in a hotel reception or restaurant pretending that he is working, while no one has any idea of what is happening.

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The whole process is automated for the hacker, because the software he is using will scan nearby surroundings for active Bluetooth connections, and when it finds them it can do a variety of things without the owner having any idea of what is going on.

When the hacker's software finds and connects to a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, it can download contact information, phone numbers, calendars, photos, SIM-card details, make free long-distance phone calls, bug phone-calls and even do a lot of damage.

On Internet is a myriad of free software for Bluetooth hackers, and even videos showing them how to install the software and tips about “how to hack”.

The hacking possibilities are virtually endless, and below are listed a few examples of what can be done by a hacker once your mobile is hacked.

“Bluesnarfing” means unauthorized access for downloading (stealing) all information from a hacked device. It can even allow the hacker to send a “corruption code” for completely shutting your phone down and make it unusable.

“Bluebugging” which is a more scary attack, involves using special software to connect to a device and silently making it call another device (usually one the hacker is using) to act as a phone bug. Once your device is blue-bugged, the hacker can listen in on anything you and anyone around you are saying.

In addition, the hackers can use software to route long-distance calls all over the world to your phone by using Bluetooth, which in turn sticks you with the carrier phone charges.

Likewise, your hacked mobile phone can even remotely be used to make “micro-purchases,” or purchases that show up on your (the subscriber's) monthly bills.

Any type of mobile phone that has built-in Bluetooth can be hacked.

The only way to avoid Bluetooth attacks on your mobile phone is to disable Bluetooth when it is not in use. And when it is in use, make sure you do not leave in discoverable mode.

Dragonicum: Updated 20 March 2015

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