Recently uncovered Bluetooth exploit dubbed "BlueBorne" proves just how easy it is to remotely take over your device.
Rather than bore you with the details right away, I want to show you just how easily cyber criminals can gain access to your mobile device. Below is a video from Armis Labs which demonstrates how little effort it takes to access to your Android phone using the BlueBorne exploit.
Pretty scary huh? In less than two minutes your phone was completely owned, without ever leaving your pocket. Things get even more frightening when you learn that this exploit can be executed on devices running Android, Linux, and Windows from up to 32 feet away. Underlying this entire attack is, you guessed it, a buffer overflow exploit. We have covered this on the blog before so if you would like more information click here for Dover CEO Jothy Rosenberg’s post on the subject.
In order to give more color to the programming aspects surrounding Blueborne, our Chief Scientist Greg Sullivan weights in on the issue:
The white paper describing several vulnerabilities in existing Bluetooth stacks, and the straightforward methodology for discovering and exploiting those vulnerabilities, make it clear that memory errors are pervasive in widely deployed system software. Of course, Dover CoreGuardTM protects against attack vectors other than memory errors, but memory safety is the sine qua non of cyber security protection.
The engineers at Microsoft, Google, Apple, and elsewhere are doing their best, but the tools at their disposal are inadequate. Type-and-memory-unsafe languages such as C/C++ and complex natural (as opposed to formal) language specifications, are unable to prevent a never-ending stream of security vulnerabilities in systems that we all rely on. We (finally) have tools to enforce memory safety in C/C++ applications and systems software, and we need to deploy those tools as soon as possible.
Security experts estimate that billions of unpatched Bluetooth enabled devices could be affected by BlueBorne. Researchers at Armis stated that with more work they could turn the simple exploit into a worm that infects all other Bluetooth enabled devices that come into range. This new discovery points to the larger issue of inherent security faults in wireless hardware supporting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In a time when our lives rely heavily on mobile technology we must act quickly to make sure we don't fall victim to the ever-increasing torrent of attacks.
Learn more about the BlueBorne exploit from ArsTechnica here.