Bluetooth is one of the most used features on mobile phones given its ability to allow users to connect their gadgets to speakers to play music and transfer files from one user to another.
The feature is found on almost all devices, especially smartphones that have become common in modern day.
In Kenya, millions of people have access to Bluetooth as indicated by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in a report where it stated that there were 26 million smartphones in the country as of December 2021.
However, its accessibility has exposed users to vulnerabilities given that some often fail to switch it off, giving hackers a leeway to access one’s personal information.
Here are ways hackers use Bluetooth to steal personal data.
With the help of technology, hackers can today be able to force a connection to a Bluetooth device and access data stored on the phones such as photos, messages, documents and others.
Additionally, hackers are able to route all phone calls and messages to their devices by accessing the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).
More often than not, hackers use this information to blackmail their victims.
Another way hackers steal data through Bluetooth is by creating a backdoor to access a phone.
Through the connection, they can be able to spy on their victims by listening to phone calls, making phone calls, and reading emails among other things.
With the increasing use of mobile banking, hackers can also use blue bugging to monitor money transactions which expose the user to fraud.
Under bluejacking, hackers send spam messages to mobile devices and in the event the recipient click on the link, they grant the hacker access to their phones and content.
Therefore, it is advisable to ignore unsolicited messages when your Bluetooth is connected to another device.
Other common attacks include car whispers where IT gurus can hack the audio system of a car and play an audio file.
Most notably, users can protect themselves from such incidents by switching off their Bluetooth when not in use, making your Bluetooth not discoverable on the settings, and not connecting in public among others.