Bluetooth vulnerability could expose device data to hackers

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A fast-acting hacker could be able to weaken the encryption of Bluetooth devices and subsequently snoop on communications or send falsified ones to take over a device due to a newly discovered vulnerability in the standard.

The vulnerability is pretty clever: instead of directly breaking the encryption, it allows hackers to force a pair of Bluetooth devices to use weaker encryption in the first place, making it far easier to crack. Each time two Bluetooth devices connect, they establish a new encryption key. If an attacker gets in between that setup process, they could potentially trick the two devices into settling on an encryption key with a relatively small number of characters. The attacker would still have to perform a brute-force…

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