Researchers Find Bluetooth Signals Can be Fingerprinted to Track Smartphones


Level 43
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Mar 16, 2019
Bluetooth Signals
A new research undertaken by a group of academics from the University of California San Diego has revealed for the first time that Bluetooth signals can be fingerprinted to track smartphones (and therefore, individuals).
The identification, at its core, hinges on imperfections in the Bluetooth chipset hardware introduced during the manufacturing process, resulting in a "unique physical-layer fingerprint."

"To perform a physical-layer fingerprinting attack, the attacker must be equipped with a Software Defined Radio sniffer: a radio receiver capable of recording raw IQ radio signals," the researchers said in a new paper titled "Evaluating Physical-Layer BLE Location Tracking Attacks on Mobile Devices."

The attack is made possible due to the ubiquitous nature of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons that are continuously transmitted by modern devices to enable crucial functions such as contact tracing during public health emergencies.

The hardware defects, on the other hand, stem from the fact that both Wi-Fi and BLE components are often integrated together into a specialized "combo chip," effectively subjecting Bluetooth to the same set of metrics that can be used to uniquely fingerprint.......
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Level 24
Top poster
Apr 16, 2017
Whatever next?

'Researchers can trace farts back to their owners' :(
In future ads will be like:
"Are you using VPN for your farts? Secure your precious farts, don't get tracked"

But seriously everything is used to track users. From the cookies, IP address, browser fingerprint, OS language, time zone, wifi, etc like pretty much everything.