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Blue bugging

2022 NOV 23

Preliminary   > Security   >   Cyber security   >   Cyber crime

Why in news?

  • Several smartphones have their Bluetooth settings on discovery mode as it is a default setting, making it easy for hackers to access the phones when they are within 10 metres from the device. This is done through a process called Bluebugging..

About Blue-bugging:

  • Bluebugging is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can listen to the calls, read and send messages and steal and modify contacts.
  • It started out as a threat to laptops with Bluetooth capability. Later hackers used the technique to target mobile phones and other devices.

How does Blue bugging work?

  • Bluebugging attacks by exploiting Bluetooth-enabled devices. The device’s Bluetooth must be in discoverable mode, which is the default setting on most devices.
  • The bluetooth enabled device must also be within a 10-metre radius of the hacker.
  • The hacker then tries to pair with the device via Bluetooth. Once a connection is established, hackers can use brute force attacks to bypass authentication. They can install the malware in the compromised device to gain unauthorized access to it.
  • Any Bluetooth-enabled device can be blue-bugged.
    • Wireless earbuds are also susceptible to such hacks. Apps that enable users to connect to their TWS (True Wireless Stereo) devices or earbuds can record conversations.


The term ‘Blue bugging’, recently seen in news is associated with:

(a) Marine pollution

(b) Viral infection

(c) Cyber security

(d) Space exploration