Bluetooth scare.

On my way to Darmstadt this Wednesday I had the luck to sit in an ICE2 wagon, which provides power for my PowerBook – usually you only have ‘powerless’ ICE1 wagons going from Berlin via Franfurt to Basel or Z├╝rich. So I had my PowerBook up and running including digital paraphernalia such as my USB bluetooth dongle to connect to my mobile. Well, I was pretty surprised when suddenly a message popped up that a file called “vorsicht.pwi” was sent to my computer via bluetooth! A look into the directory which I have designated to be the receiving directory for bluetooth files revealed that indeed, there was a new file bearing that name. This was the content of the file (there were a lot of non-readable characters in the file too, you can download this and the other file as a zipped archive if you want to check out the exact contents):

 Vorsicht, sie wurden gehackt! Sit auch im Zug!!    B ”   #     O 

A minute or two later I got another message with the same name. This time the content read:

   d d    P   /   =
    S     S    @    
    F    E *  !   A *   E L     +
 Vorsicht, sie wurden gehackt! Sitze auch im Zug!! Bitte aufstehen!!!    B +   $
 !      ’
 A !    B ” 

Well, I did not stand up, as the ‘hacker’ requested, instead unplugging the bluetooth dongle and then checking my bluetooth settings. So far I had both not changed the default settings which turn on visibility for my bluetooth port and which disable encryption for bluetooth connections. I then used my mobile (a SonyEricsson T68i) to look for other visible bluetooth devices in the train compartment, and subsequently discovered a device with the name “Nokia6610” (not sure if the model number was this or something else). I didn’t do anything related to the Nokia though and later decided to turn on my bluetooth connection again, this time with visibility turned off and encryption turned on. No more detectable hassles for the rest of the trip. Strange nonetheless. I guess this person did at maximum have access to the directory which I have designated as being accessible for bluetooth devices. Seemed to be more a joke to scare people off (and correctly point to the weaknesses of unprotected bluetooth connections). However, Heise has posted an article on bluetooth device security problems on the same day that I was ‘hacked’ – nice coincidence.

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