According to the latest news, cybersecurity researches at Purdue University have discovered a critical vulnerability called ‘BLESA’, or Bluetooth Low Energy Spoofing Attack in the Bluetooth software stack. According to them, the exploit affects Bluetooth LE devices and has the potential to expose billions of people to hacking. The Bluetooth vulnerabilities are expected to affect billions of smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices altogether.
Unlike Bluetooth vulnerability, BLESA affects the reconnection process in the BLE software stack. It must be noted that Bluetooth vulnerability is also recently discovered.
Ideally, reconnections take place between the connected devices when two BLE devices move out of range temporarily before moving back into connection range. During this time, the Bluetooth devices typically re-authenticate the cryptographic keys before reconnecting in such scenarios.
However, the researchers have found that it might bypass a mandatory recheck in some scenarios resulting in critical vulnerability. Under the BLE standard, apparently, re-authentication of cryptographic keys is optional which has the potential of leaving the door open for possible hackers and malicious actors.
Moreover, while reconnecting, this authentication can be circumvented if a BLE device fails to force another device to authenticate the cryptographic keys.
The researchers have found a vulnerability in iOS BLE stack, BlueZ, and Fluoride. iOS BLE stack is a Linux based implementation of BLE that is used in IoT devices. BlueZ has been used in Android for years and it is worth noting that for Android 11, Google is currently testing a brand new Bluetooth stack called ‘Gabeldorsche’.
On the other hand, Apple patched the vulnerability with iOS 13.4 but both BlueZ and Fluoride Bluetooth stacks continue to remain vulnerable. The only silver lining of this cloud is that Windows seems to be immune to this particular exploit.