Bluetooth stole my wife's phone call

Summary:With Bluetooth on, can a device be compromised these days without pairing?

I've been a fan and user of Bluetooth since before it was relegated to just being for wireless headsets. One of the things I have loved about it is that once it's paired, all you need to get it to work is to have both the headset and the phone turned on and have bluetooth activated. Then seconds later, you're talking wirelessly.

Well, this scenario actually backfired for a friend of mine the other day. It turns out that my friend and his wife were traveling in their own cars but happened to be one in front of the other. My wife was having a conversation with his wife, who was using her iPhone without Bluetooth, when half way through the phone call, all of the sudden my wife's friend's husband was on the call. It turns out that his in-car Bluetooth was paired to his wife's phone and since the cars were one behind the other, his in-car Bluetooth took over the call.

The wild thing about the above situation was how seamless it was. I wasn't on the call but was sitting next to my wife at the time. She was enjoying a conversation with her friend when all of the sudden she said, "hello? Who is this?" In her case, one second she was talking with her friend, and then without any sound or click on the other end, the call was taken over by my wife's friend's husband's in-car Bluetooth.

I know that this case is a weird one since in order for it to happen to anyone else, the phone has to be paired to the other Bluetooth receiver, and the cars have to be one behind the other, but I figured it was a pretty wild story and worth sharing.

The above also got me thinking about Bluecasing or War Nibbling. If you're not familiar with the terms, they are used to describe the act of pairing with someone's phone over Bluetooth and stealing or reading their information. This was big news in the Pocket PC days but I haven't heard about it lately. I'm not sure if it's because the security has gotten better or people are just not aware of it, but I figured maybe if I wrote this article, the readers would chime in.

Have you had an experience where Bluetooth didn't work the way you expected it to? Or where your phone was compromised via Bluetooth? Share in the comments below.

Topics: Mobility, Wi-Fi

About

With more than fifteen years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands, technologies and services into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the Vice President of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider. Prior to Mobiquity, Evans was Managin... Full Bio

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