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Researchers warn against Bluetooth on older smartphones

Older smartphones from Apple and Google have, according to researchers from Darmstadt massive security deficiencies in the implementation of Bluetooth wireless technology. Even smartphones from Apple and Google are affected.

Jiska Classen from the research group for mobile radio security at the Technical University Darmstadt and Dennis Mantz from the Heidelberger IT-security company At the end of December, ERNW demonstrated in Leipzig how they sent malicious codes via Bluetooth to mobile phones with chips from the manufacturer Broadcom.

The researchers cracked the firmware, so the software for controlling the Bluetooth chip, they changed and sent commands to other smartphones. They found that the Apple iPhone 6 and the Google Nexus 5 and also the Macbook Pro 2016 are affected by the vulnerability.

The manufacturer is already informed and is working on a fix, said Classen at the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) convention. The latest Bluetooth chips from Broadcom are not affected. The scientist recommended, "Turn off Bluetooth if your device has a Broadcom chipset and was released before 2017."

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