• IASbaba
  • November 30, 2022
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Science and Technology
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In News: Apps that let users connect smartphones or laptops to wireless earplugs can record conversations, and are vulnerable to hacks including iPhones.

  • Any app with access to Bluetooth can record users’ conversations with Siri and audio from the iOS keyboard dictation feature when using AirPods or Beats headsets.

About Bluebugging:

  • It is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can
  • download phone books, call lists, listen to the calls
  • read and send messages
  • steal and modify contacts
  • install malware
  • gain unauthorised access to apps with Bluetooth access and control them.
  • Bluebugging attacks work by exploiting Bluetooth-enabled devices which is in discoverable mode (which is the default setting on most devices) and 10-metre radius of the hacker.
  • The hacker then tries to pair with the device via Bluetooth. Once a connection is established, hackers can use brute force attacks to bypass authentication.
  • Hackers can use booster antennas to widen the attack range.
  • Susceptibility:
  • Smartphones and Laptops or any Bluetooth-enabled device
  • Wireless earbuds like AirPods can record conversations as they enable users to connect to their TWS (True Wireless Stereo) devices
  • Devices with short PINs for a password can be easily cracked.
  • Prevention:
  • Turning off Bluetooth and disconnecting paired Bluetooth devices when not in use (make it undiscoverable) from Bluetooth settings
  • Updating the device’s system software to the latest version
  • Limiting the use of public Wi-Fi
  • Using VPN as an additional security measure
  • Watch out for suspicious activities on their devices eg. phone is suddenly disconnecting and reconnecting calls, or if you notice messages that haven’t been sent by you
  • Reset the device to its factory settings or uninstall any apps you don’t recognise
  • Monitor sudden spikes in data usage.
  • Modern anti-virus software can also help thwart such attacks by helping users to detect strange and spam-like content by filtering, blocking and consistently reminding people to be alert

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) The terms ‘WannaCry, Petya and Eternal Blue’ sometimes mentioned in the news recently are related to (2018)

  1. Exoplanets
  2. Cryptocurrency
  3. Cyber attacks
  4. Mini satellites


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