The Bluetooth Honeypot Project: Measuring and Managing Bluetooth Risks in the Workplace

The Bluetooth Honeypot Project: Measuring and Managing Bluetooth Risks in the Workplace

Ashley Podhradsky (Dakota State University, USA), Cindy Casey (Drexel University, USA) and Peter Ceretti (Drexel University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jitn.2012070101
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Bluetooth technology (BT) and the inherent security vulnerabilities it introduces into business domains are often overlooked when security policies are developed. However, the International Data Corporation (IDC) projected that global Bluetooth short-wave wire semiconductor revenue will triple from $1.7 billion in 2007, to $3.3 billion in 2012 (Reidy, 2008). After a brief history of Bluetooth technology, researchers will examine how Bluetooth works, its vulnerabilities, and how these vulnerabilities can be exploited. Bluetooth malware and its associated risks will also be explored. As a practical approach to monitor Bluetooth threats and malware, the employment of a Bluetooth honeypot will be discussed, including honeypot structure and the legalities of deploying them. Building on Andrew Smith’s earlier work developing Bluepot, a functional Bluetooth honeypot (Smith, 2011), researchers will test Bluepot and discuss the feasibility of using it as a prototype for developing a functional Bluetooth honeypot to secure corporate data and analyze BT malware.
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Development Of Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology (BT) was the innovation of Swedish cell phone corporation Ericsson Mobile Communications. Ericsson’s original objective was to create a wireless connection between a user’s mobile telephone or PC and some type of earpiece as part of an effort to eliminate the wire clutter caused by proprietary cable connections (Ahonen, 2006). In 1994, Jaap Haartsen and colleague Sven Mattisson, of Ericson’s Mobile Terminal Division in Stockholm discovered that they could tap into low radio frequency, thus saving development time and minimizing costs. In addition to its ability to transmit data, low radio frequency was available free of charge and required no licensing.

Bluetooth employs a variation of Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) called Adaptive Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (AFH) (Hodgdon, 2003). AFH relies on hopping sequences to circumvent crowded frequencies. The concept of radio frequency hopping was initially utilized by the Germans during the First World War to deter eavesdropping by British forces (Zenneck, 1915), and was patented in 1942 by actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil (Rhodes, 2009). Lamarr and Antheil’s rendering of frequency hopping utilized a piano-roll (music storage medium) which switched between some 88 frequencies (Rhodes, 2009). Their ultimate goal was to enable radio-guided torpedoes to go undetected by the enemy. The patent, number 2,292,387, named Secret Communications System, resurfaced in 1950, where it was developed into a civilian version of spread spectrum Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) (Philosophy of Science Portal, 2009).

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