Bluetooth as a Laptop Sensor
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Bluetooth as a Laptop Sensor

  1. #1
    AO Senior Cow-beller
    Moderator
    zencoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Mountain standard tribe.
    Posts
    1,177

    Exclamation Bluetooth as a Laptop Sensor

    Turn off that device!

    Source
    Phone pirates in seek and steal mission
    Mobile phone technology is being used by thieves to seek out and steal laptops locked in cars in Cambridgeshire.

    Up-to-date mobiles often have Bluetooth technology, which allows other compatible devices, including laptops, to link up and exchange information, and log on to the internet.

    But thieves in Cambridge have cottoned on to an alternative use for the function, using it as a scanner which will let them know if another Bluetooth device is locked in a car boot.

    ...more...
    Haha, as much as I hate to see theft and loss of property occuring, I love it when someone exhibits a true "hacker" mentality. I also can't believe these were left in the trunk and TURNED ON...unless some of these laptops have bluetooth functioning even after you've powered down the PC?!?

    Regardless, it's ingenious, you theiving sh!ts!

    Found at Schneier's blog.
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    41
    u should see this
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7883
    with 17% people accepting shady bluetooth connections i wonder if this gonna be a big security issue very soon. Maybe it has to do with awareness or some peope just dont care.
    Lets stop Thinking and start Drinking!

  3. #3
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,152
    It's a new symptom of an age old problem. Users who buy laptops (or any type of pc) are on average not very computer savvy. They buy, it switch it on, and use it, end of story. They will never have heard of bluetooth (certainly not outwith the context of mobile phones) and will never look to change the default settings. Why would they it works out the box.

    It's the same reason users get spyware on their machines, no idea of what is going on so they take no precautions.

    I would humbly suggest that PC manufacturers (laptop, desktop and PDA) are compelled to at least include a large pull out poster with basic security measures with big pictures for the terminally stupid. It will never be up-to-date but the basic measures rarely change.

  4. #4
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,668
    I find it hard to believe that laptops are being stolen from car boots because people are leaving bluetooth enabled devices in discoverable mode. Not to say it isn't possible. I just think it improbable.

    Far more likely is places known to have laptop users frequent are being staked out. People have had it drummed into them to not leave this sort of equipment lying an the back seat. Nearly all motorway service stations here have signs in the car park, and it realy is a trivial matter to centre punch the edge of a window reach in grab and be off.

    On that basis i think the theiving bastiges are sitting in their motor, watching who is pulling up and putting their gear in the boot.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    379
    I just think its funny because i neavor liked bluetooth and even as jinxy said it is improbable it is just a nother reason for me not to like it. Really if you look at bluetooth their it is so insure all you ever hear bout it people stealing info off of phones and stuff, next people are going to start spreading viruses using it like it said in that article about 17% of people would download the clips well what if it wasn't a clip but a virus.

  6. #6
    AO Senior Cow-beller
    Moderator
    zencoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Mountain standard tribe.
    Posts
    1,177
    Well, there has been a lot of discussion about this. Many agree, it's unlikely that someone would leave a laptop in the trunk, powered on, with the device discoverable.

    However, depending on a few factors, all of that may be moot. If you have
    #1 tech savyy thieves, who know the limitations and exploitable avenues of bluetooth technology
    #2 thieves who got lucky and bought a phone that doesn't necessarily "play nice" and can identify devices that are supposed to be in non-discoverable mode (correct me if I'm wrong...isn't discoverable mode a setting that says "Please ignore me" when the signal is detected?)
    #3 laptops and other devices that still broadcast and respond when powered "off" (Wake on Bluetooth)

    It's hard to say, and I am no expert with Bluetooth. So perhaps this is a case of the constabulary making statements that aren't entirely true to the local paper?
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  7. #7
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,668
    So perhaps this is a case of the constabulary making statements that aren't entirely true to the local paper?
    Or the papers making up storys, which happens an awful lot over here.

    thieves who got lucky and bought a phone that doesn't necessarily "play nice" and can identify devices that are supposed to be in non-discoverable mode (correct me if I'm wrong...isn't discoverable mode a setting that says "Please ignore me" when the signal is detected?
    Not quite Zen, if your equipment is in disoverable mode and some one scans for bluetooth enabled devices your device will respond with, "here I am and this is my name". That is dependant on being within range though. If you are not in discoverable mode there should be no responce to a scan,(subect to any exploitation possible).

    My main problem with the article is range, 10m/30ft max with direct line of site. There is a new standard that opperates at ranges similar to wifi but AFIAK it is not in wide spread use at the moment. Given the limitations of range and the fact that most car boots would act as a fairly good FR shield, I think it highly improbable detection was carried out this way.

    My phone will not pick my bluetooth card in my laptop up unless it is in the same room.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 Security News

     Patches

       Security Trends

         How-To

           Buying Guides