A group of researchers from the Boston University have recently revealed that if one owns a smartband, there is a probability that it might have a critical Bluetooth vulnerability which can give hackers access to track the smartband’s user They revealed this issue and and explained that hackers can pinpoint the user’s location using Bluetooth gadgets that are high profile. Needless to say, personal information such as this can pose many kinds of threats for the user’s security including abuse, stalking and so on.
Using Bluetooth, when two devices are connected to each other, one of the two devices, like in this case the user’s phone, acts as the main part of this connection. The other device or the peripheral part, in this case the smartband ends up sending out all data associated with the connection including a randomized address, such as the IP address on the user’s laptop or PC, to the main device.
With the help of what researchers refer to as a “sniffer algorithm”, a hacker can decode the randomized address. The researchers further explained that randomized addresses do get configured on a regular basis, despite which identifying the Bluetooth connection is possible with the sniffer algorithm.
In such a case third- parties can locate active Bluetooth devices and eventually people who are using them, even though the personal information is intact. Notably, not just a smartband, but theoretically any device that is Bluetooth- enables can be tracked.
Android remains to be shielded from this glitch according to the researchers; however they mentioned that iOS and windows 10 devices may be more susceptible to be tracked.
To deal with the issue, users need to simply turn off and turn on Bluetooth on their main device according to the researchers. By doing so information is reconfigured in turn ensuring safety of the device from hackers.
Nancy Lojas has a Pharmaceutical background. She is pursuing a Masters Degree from the University of Toronto and loves to write about research, discoveries & trends in the Healthcare sector.