Have you been using on-the-go public WiFi a lot or keeping Bluetooth-enabled devices on Discoverable Mode? It is high time you stop doing that, as Bluebugging, aka Bluetooth hacking, is a big problem right now. From voice assistants to wireless earbuds, we rely heavily on Bluetooth-enabled devices. As easy as they make our lives, it does come at the cost of compromising your cyber security. We must buckle up and know how to counter these attacks. Besides, there are initiatives like the Cyber Swacchta Kendra to help you enhance your cyber security levels.
Want to know more about Cyber Swacchta Kendra? Also read: Cyber Swachhta Kendra is Sending out this SMS to Everyone- Check Details Here
Bluebugging or Bluesnarfing: What is it?
For those unaware, Bluebugging or Bluesnarfing refers to the Bluetooth hacking of your gadgets. To put things simply, those devices that are Bluetooth-enabled can be hacked into via Bluebugging.
Sure, our devices are becoming more and more secure by the day. However, hackers are getting creative with their methods as well. Right now, Bluetooth hacking tops their list of techniques. If a hacker is anywhere within the Bluetooth range of your device, they can hack into it.
@ForSocialTech, a dedicated tech Twitter account, has posted a wonderful 21-second clip on how Bluebugging works. Take a look to get a proper insight:
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Then, they can install malicious software to monitor your activities. From being able to read your private messages and send messages to peeping into your calls, Bluebugging is as serious as they come.
So, how do you protect yourself from such an attack? There are quite a few ways to detect Bluebugging of your device and equip yourself with ways to counter it.
Bluebugging, aka Bluetooth Hacking: How To Protect Yourself From It?
There are multiple ways to stand strong against Bluebugging attacks. Here are a couple of things to note:
#1. Don’t connect with just any Bluetooth device
You may notice that whenever you turn on your Bluetooth, there are n number of devices all around you. You mustn’t try connecting to just any visible device. You never know which device turns out to be malicious. So, let us not do that and risk becoming a victim of Bluetooth hacking or Bluebugging.
#2. Don’t keep Bluetooth turned on 24*7
From using your earbuds to pairing with a new device, keeping Bluetooth turned on is surely a necessity. However, whenever you are not using it, keep it turned off. This way, you don’t allow suspicious devices to find and target your device.
#3. Don’t keep it visible to other devices
Now, this is of paramount importance to keep in mind. As you may or may not be aware, there is an option which allows your device to stay discoverable to other devices. Now, this is an open invitation to Bluebugging. So, keep this turned off. If you don’t know how to, simply:
Step 1: Head over to your phone’s Settings panel and look for Bluetooth options.
Step 2: In here, look for Bluetooth Settings and turn off the Visible To Other Devices feature.
That should do the trick!
#4. Keep your device up-to-date
With new operating systems coming in right, left and centre, it is vital that your device is up-to-date. For example, if you are still on Android 9 or lower, it is high time to update your device or get a new phone. The security and software updates allow your device to stay more secure. This is something you should not ignore.
#5. Avoid pairing with a new device in public
So you got a new device to connect your smartphone to. Well, get back home and do it in a secure environment. It is not ideal for pairing with a new device in public. This allows Bluebugging hackers to interrupt the connection and get access to your device.
Also read: How To Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers?
#6. Use a VPN!
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to establish a secure connection. This immediately keeps you at bay from Bluetooth hacking or Bluebugging. With this additional security layer, you are now completely untouchable.
How To Know If You Are “Bluebugged”?
Now that you know about Bluebugging or Bluesnarfing, you will be more cautious about it. A few things to keep an eye out for to spot Bluetooth hacking are:
- Sudden thermal throttling or overheating of the device
- Inappropriate pop-ups
- Strange activity on your device (like suddenly noticing the addition of new apps on your device)
- Rapid battery drain
Once you detect some unusual behaviour on your device, instantly reset it to its factory settings. After the factory reset, change your Gmail and other account passwords that you actively use.
Stay Safe, Folks!
It is important to take these necessary steps and prevent your device from getting Bluebugged in the first place. Afterall, prevention is indeed better than cure. The good thing is now you know what to do to steer clear of Bluebugging or Bluetooth hacking.
Besides, even if you detect suspicious activity on your device and feel that you have been Bluesnarfed, follow the mentioned steps to get out of the situation. Bluebugging is no joke and Cyber security is to be taken seriously. With that being said, we hope this guide comes in handy!
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Tech enthusiast, gamer and somebody for whom music acts as a life capsule. Nothing fascinates me more than catchy headlines and John Mayer's guitar mastery.