A team of security researchers has discovered a critical security vulnerability in the Bluetooth wireless communication protocol, which leaves millions of devices vulnerable to attack.
Daniele Antonioli of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Nils Ole Tippenhauer of the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security and Kasper Rasmussen of the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University published a paper entitled “The KNOB is Broken: Exploiting Low Entropy in the Encryption Key Negotiation Of Bluetooth BR/EDR, ”Where they reveal a new big security gap of Bluetooth.
According to researchers, the new vulnerability in Bluetooth could leave millions of devices using the protocol exposed to a new kind of attack called KNOB (originally from Key Negotiation Of Bluetooth). The attack allows attackers to bypass the Bluetooth pairing process and spy on data shared between different devices, even if paired.
The official KNOB website states:
KNOB attack is possible due to defects in Bluetooth specifications. Therefore, any compatible Bluetooth device may be vulnerable. We've been attacking KNOB on more than 17 unique Bluetoth chips (on 24 different devices), until now. We were able to try chips from manufacturers Broadcom, Qualcomm, Apple, Intel and Chicony. All the devices we tested were vulnerable to the KNOB attack
It appears to be a major security gap that affects all Bluetooth enabled devices.
So the researchers had to coordinate the disclosure with the manufacturers to have the time to fix the error and release the necessary security updates to the users. The security gap was revealed in November at 2018 and has been documented as CVE-2019-9506.
Apple, Intel and Microsoft have already released the necessary update that fixes the vulnerability of Bluetooth.
However, security researchers warn that if your device has not been updated by the end of 2018, it is vulnerable.