'Bluejacking' hits the mainstream

Summary:People with Bluetooth-enable mobile phones can send messages anonymously to those with similar phones nearby, creating a new craze

Bluetooth, a connectivity technology most commonly found in mobiles and PDAs, looks like it could be spawning a new craze -- and possibly a new outlet for spammers.

Bluetooth enables devices within a few metres of each other to exchange information wirelessly -- a technology that users with Bluetooth-enabled mobiles are making the most of to send text messages to strangers anonymously.

This drive-by messaging has been dubbed 'bluejacking'.

But why would somebody bluejack a stranger's phone? The motive behind the craze is to freak out other Bluetooth users that you might encounter in public -- for example, a bluejacker will check out other Bluetooth users on the tube and drop them a message that only someone in the same place will appreciate, for example, their choice of newspaper or colour of their top or just a message to let them know that they've been bluejacked.

How do you bluejack? By saving a message in the 'name' field of your phone, for example, "Nice tweed trousers", then choose to send it via Bluetooth. A list of enabled hardware in the vicinity should appear on your phone; select the device you want and off you go.

Topics: Networking


Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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