Turn It Off

Share This Post

Turn It Off

I had lunch with a Technical Security Countermeasures expert and he told me a short story.   On a recent flight delay in the US north east – running a number of hours 30 or 40 he got bored.  He had read everything he had brought with him as well as a few stray papers and magazine found abandoned on seats around the airport.  So he chose to unpack some of his equipment and plug it in and see what was going on. I’ll try and paraphrase the rest:

“I sat on the floor just away from the hallway that lead to all of the “H” gates.   I could see people walking by on my scanning receiver hooked up to my laptop.  I watch unprotected Bluetooth devices go by, unlocked WiFi and Super WiFi go past me.  I also saw two people go by with RF controlled insulin pumps – also unlocked! Also a few people who stood near  me also appeared to have on them NFC credit cards. The spectrum of devices going by was not a surprise but how much was just left on, open and unlocked was amazing.”

Bluetooth is for communications over a short distance.  But it is also a  huge exposed gap into your computers, printers and mobile phones and laptops.  Just off the top of my head our editors can think of 5 different Bluetooth hack software free from the Internet.  Blue Scanner, Blue Sniff, Blue Bugger, BT Crawler, Super Hack all which can be used very easily for Blue Snarfing when a hack will allow you to clean out the contents of a phone or a device – yes – getting all the information from that device for your use.

WiFi is legendary for being able to be hacked, with apps such as WiFi Hacker, Wireless Password Hacker, etc… There are even Ted Talks on WiFi hacks.  One of my more interesting acquaintances built a robot to hack passwords on WiFi devices and took it down the street.  As WiFi devices came by it hacked the devices and responded to the WiFi devices with a message containing their password!  Yikes.

One of my more criminal acquaintances watched some kids going through parking lots with 10 different electronic key fobs pushing “Open, open, open, open” until the found a few cars that did open – cleaned them out and continued on their way.  He took the time to study the radio signal from the key fobs and was able to make a universal key fob that opened ALL the models from one of the car makers.Your car is now a personal computer.   If you remember an article sometime ago in Aegis about a BMW being hacked and or Near Field Communications.

This is not something new, but a follow up on how open our networks have become.   Today, every television, refrigerator, dishwasher, or wireless devises is a P.C. and it is part of a node that can allow access to your personal information and your home or office network.  With all of the nodes and access to your network your network is only as strong as the weakest node.

So what is the point?  If you have WiFi and Bluetooth on your phone and you are not using it – turn it off.  If you have a Bluetooth headset – throw it out-you look like a member of the Borg Collective.  If you have transmitter and/or  receiver that is not being used turn it off and  encrypt and protect the rest.

More To Explore