Attacking Bluetooth LE design and implementation in mobile + wearables ecosystems

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Consumer IoT devices manifest in a variety of forms today, including fitness trackers, rings, smart-watches, pacemakers, and so on. The wearable IoT market is dominated by small and medium-sized business, who are often in a rush to hit the shelves before their competitors, and trivialize the need for security in the bargain, citing no “return on investment”. In our presentation, we deep-dive into the wireless protocol of choice for wearables — Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and its impact from a security perspective. We use a USB-based bluetooth hacking hardware board called Ubertooth-One to analyze popular market products, and also perform a live demo on stealing information from a fitness tracker using standard Android app development practices. We wrap up with a discussion on simple cryptographic approaches and BLE-hardening mechanisms to prevent such attacks on wearable and IoT platforms.

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