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Bluetooth Security

Friday, September 1st, 2006 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized
 
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Q:
What type of security does Bluetooth offer?

A:
I’m glad you asked this question, especially since I talked about Bluetooth up above in today’s quick tip. With Bluetooth becoming a household name these days, it’s good to know what kind of security you will get along with it, if you so choose to use it someday. (If you’re still not sure about what Bluetooth is, check up above before you read any further). Below are some of the security features of the Bluetooth technology.

One of the most well known features is that Bluetooth allows its users to choose if they want other devices to see them or not. They can either be in the “Discoverable” or “Non-discoverable” mode. You can do this with any device you use with Bluetooth (cell phone, PDA, etc). If you set yourself as discoverable, you may be at more risk for attacks. When you’re in that mode, it’s easier for other users to scan for you and threaten your system. If you’re undiscoverable, you can still communicate with other users you have had contact with before, but it pretty much shuts all the unwanted users out.

Making your Bluetooth device undiscoverable also prevents hackers from finding the addresses that you have stored. It will protect you against unauthorized connections, which can definitely keep your mind at ease. Hackers also try to locate Bluetooth devices by the LED lights they contain, but if you’re undiscoverable, they won’t be able to connect with your device. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. What do you think?

Another security feature is the pairing of devices. If you have more than one device that you use with Bluetooth, you can pair them together so they share the same link code for access. When trying to access a particular account with your Bluetooth device, such as an Internet account, a voice gateway or a file transfer, you have to have an authentication code (like a PIN number). In reality, any other device can freely connect to yours when completing those jobs, but with a paired access code, it’s less likely to happen. The link key will also be stored in your device’s memory, so you won’t have to go through the authentication every time you want to use it. It saves you time and keeps you safer.

One more security feature that I’m going to talk about is the encryption methods that Bluetooth uses. Bluetooth uses a link encryption algorithm of four LFSR (linear feedback shift registers), which is very effective. With this strong of an encryption type, you can use your Bluetooth devices pretty much anywhere in the world. You can even use them in countries that have regulations that limit the encryption strength. It also allows for an upgrade down the road if you so choose to do that.

As you can see, Bluetooth is a very well thought out and planned technology. You can feel safe when putting the information that is most important to you in its hands.

~ Erin

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