BlueBorne is a bug targeting Bluetooth users.
Out of 8.2 billion Bluetooth devices, 5.3 billion are vulnerable to attack. Needless to say, Google freaked.
BlueBorne sneaks onto your device the same way a thief robs dorm rooms: looking for unlocked doors. Once in, BlueBorne holds the door open for hackers. The evil genius of this bug is that the user is completely in the dark. Users pick it up and transmit it unknowingly. It’s like typhoid for tech. The range is wide enough (about 10 metres) that even the most socially awkward are vulnerable.
Mac users with iOS 10 or later are fine. So are updated Windows users. But everything else isn’t.
Go ahead, we’ll wait while you update your devices.
I can call my coffee machine
Google included a fix for the vulnerability in its September update. Mac got in the game, too. But up to 2 billion devices are just too old or not designed for updates. and you probably own one of them.
How old are your Bluetooth speakers? What about your Bluetooth-enabled printer, headphones, mouse, keyboard, TV, light bulbs and thermostat? Many of these devices can’t be patched or updated. About 2 billion of them. For these devices, the only answer is to disconnect when not in use. Yes, this a huge pain.
Travellers are especially vulnerable. Airports used to be just a hub of disgusting coughing and sneezing biohazards, now their devices are infectious, too! Invest in a dongle, and some headphones with wires.
Apocalyptic hacks haven’t begun yet. Nor has the debate over the Internet of Things. But it’s time to start.
Do you really need to communicate with your toaster? 2 billion devices that can’t be updated shows how little manufacturers consider user safety when they make products. BlueBorne is a brilliant example of how vulnerable a glut of internet-enabled gadgets makes not just the people who own them, but everyone, vulnerable.