Can the iPad be hacked over WIFI?

Attack: This is how your iPhone, iPad and Mac are hacked via Bluetooth

Due to a mistake, numerous Apple devices can be attacked from a short distance via Bluetooth. Why do the Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS (BIAS) work at all? The attackers take advantage of the pairing function of Bluetooth and trick devices into thinking that they are connecting to trustworthy hardware. The opposite is the case.

The problem with Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS (BIAS) is that an attacker can both send and receive data once they are connected to the target device.

Is Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS (BIAS) only affecting Apple hardware?

Unfortunately not. The security problems affect numerous devices from other manufacturers and component suppliers such as Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung. All devices using the Bluetooth BR / EDR protocol are affected. As reported by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 8 and older iPhones, the iPad 2018 and older tablets and the MacBook Pro 2017 or older devices are affected. Of course, it also affects Android smartphones from practically all providers. In total, Bluetooth chips from 28 different manufacturers are affected.

According to the security researchers (PDF), the attack pattern looks like this: The attacker pretends to have a trustworthy device and also claims to support one-way authentication. A request is now sent that the attacker device wants to change roles in order to take control of the authentication process. Now comes the security gap: due to an error, the attacked device agrees and the attacker gains control.

Fortunately, the vulnerability was discovered and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group was informed - as early as December 2019. This allowed the standard to be adapted and the manufacturers to be informed in order to develop patches.

What can be done against BIAS?

Simply switch off Bluetooth as long as there are no updates that can close the gap. We are aware that doing so has a lot of loss of comfort, but data loss could be worse.

What will you do? Is the threat so great that you switch off Bluetooth and then, for example, can no longer use the AirPods or a Bluetooth keyboard? Write to us!

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