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How Bluetooth Surveillance Works

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How Bluetooth Surveillance Works
Inside this Article
1. How Bluetooth Surveillance Works 2. Bluetooth Discoverability 3. Bluetooth Positioning and Tracking

How Bluetooth Surveillance Works
If you were to randomly pick up a piece of electronics equipment in your house, there's a reasonable chance that it has Bluetooth capabilities, especially if the gadget in question is fairly new. Whether it's a cell phone, smartphone, laptop, printer or keyboard, Bluetooth wireless technology has made life easier for those of us with too many electronics on our hands. Bluetooth devices get rid of frustrating wires and expensive adapters by using short-range radio signals to connect devices to each other and send information back and forth.

If you own a Bluetooth device, can someone trace your activity

Bluetooth is especially common in mobile phones, which make up more
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Bluetooth devices use the free. Bluetooth headsets." but is that really the idea? How does Bluetooth surveillance work.5. http://10. As you linger in front of a shoe store and consider a new pair. Security has long been an issue with this technology -. your phone beeps: Someone's sent you a text message. although simply a harmless prank.which has some people concerned.perhaps the shopping district of a big city.this allows you to keep your phone in your pocket.htm 6/30/2010 . and it's happened before. so headsets and other Bluetooth accessories use very little in the way of batteries.102/hsw/bluetooth_surveillance. which stands for industrial. Maybe you're just doing some casual window shopping. backpack or handbag while walking around.bluejacking. and you've kept your phone with you and left Bluetooth on "discoverable" mode. scientific and medical devices.4gigahertz radio band known as ISM . right? Such a thing is possible. talking a walk through a crowded area -. laptops at the latter. the concept of Bluetooth surveillance has been introduced into the tech world. read on. Bluetooth Discoverability Before we dive into Bluetooth surveillance. Having fun shopping?" Sounds like something out of a movie. allows Bluetooth users to send out unsolicited messages to nearby devices. transmit calls from your phone to the headset in your ear -. for example. though.How Bluetooth Surveillance Works Page 2 of 6 than 60 percent of the Bluetooth market . Imagine. It reads: "We know where you are. and who would use it? Can it be used for good or for evil? To learn about Bluetooth surveillance and whether or not you should remain discoverable. The phrase Bluetooth surveillance might conjure up images of Big Brother in George Orwell's dystopian novel of the future. it's the very nature of Bluetooth -. The band is unlicensed for low-power use. Any Bluetooth device can communicate with up to seven other devices at a time. for instance. It's also helpful to drivers wanting to cruise around hands-free . "1984. This allows other Bluetooth phones to locate you. While any two Bluetooth devices can share data at a range between 10 and 100 meters (33 and 328 feet). 2. we'll want to take a look at how Bluetooth itself works and understand what makes the technology traceable.a technology that can search for and locate other devices that also have Bluetooth -. Because Bluetooth devices are to some degree traceable.4. In fact. phones usually operate at the former.

where you can select whether or not your phone or laptop is visible to others within the area." This information is typically found in the "settings" option of a device's control panel. So how could someone track your movement if you left your phone on discoverable? Would they have to follow you around all day long.5. a unique 48-bit identifier with six bytes of information that might look like this: 01:23:45:67:89. while the last three bytes (67:89:10) are assigned by the manufacturer.10. After you turn any Bluetooth-capable device on.102/hsw/bluetooth_surveillance.How Bluetooth Surveillance Works Page 3 of 6 Keeping a Bluetooth device in "discoverable" mode allows other gadgets with Bluetooth to locate it within a certain range. These make each device entirely unique. Every device has its own address. so long as they remain within range. the most basic security feature on it is the ability to go into one of two modes: "discoverable" or "non-discoverable. The first three bytes (01:23:45) are assigned to the specific manufacturer of the device. http://10.htm 6/30/2010 .4. or is there a simpler way? To learn how a Bluetooth surveillance network is set up. If several Bluetooth devices are set on discoverable mode. Since many terms related to Bluetooth surveillance use some variation of the Bluetooth brand name. read the next page. it helps to get a few sorted out. they all have the ability to search for and locate each other.

htm 6/30/2010 ." the username of the Malaysian IT who discovered the glitch and spread the news over the Internet.102/hsw/bluetooth_surveillance. Setting up a network of Bluetooth receivers that record the locations of spec Bluetooth surveillance possible. doesn't actually have anything to do with hijacking. address book or calendar.5. send text messages or surf the Web. The term is simply a hybrid of Bluetooth and "ajack. changes or copies information from a person's phone.How Bluetooth Surveillance Works Page 4 of 6 Bluejacking. which is most likely a 10 -meter (33-foot) circle around you. Bluejacking. happens when an attacker reads. even though the name implies it. you'd have to visually locate that person's physical device and follow it around all day. More serious infringements of bluesnarfing include taking over someone's phone and using it to make phone calls. such as a phone book. although potentially irritating to users who don't want any part of the joke. Could shopping mall stores do this to track http://10. which would easily blow your cover. won't harm or steal anyone's information. Bluetooth Positioning and Tracking Locating several Bluetooth users with a typical mobile phone is relatively simple: You just turn on your phone and search for every discoverable device. a prank that involves sending fellow Bluetooth users unsolicited text messages. But you could only monitor the people moving in and out of your Bluetooth's range. If you wanted to track a specific address. on the other hand. Bluesnarfing.4.

store owners could analyze shopper's behavior and change advertisement positions accordingly without anyone ever knowing. Still. As he walked toward the street. the system could create a general map of his path and even compare how long someone stays in a certain area. and so on for the length of the street.4.htm 6/30/2010 .How Bluetooth Surveillance Works Page 5 of 6 Creating a Bluetooth surveillance network solves this problem.their children. and Bluetooth receivers around the zoo would track the child's movement. If several Bluetooth-enabled receivers are strategically placed to cover a large area. they can track the positions of any discoverable device. A shopping mall. http://10. the largest zoological garden in Denmark. So how have people used this system to track people? One of the earliest uses of Bluetooth positioning and tracking technology is the Aalborg Zoo. smart phone or PDA. five receivers with a radius of 20 meters (66 feet) would be needed to track that person's movement. Instead. the second for the next 20 meters. If a person walked down a 100-meter-long (328-foot-long) street and each Bluetooth receiver had a range of 10 meters. the first receiver would track him for the length of the first 20 meters. could install a Bluetooth surveillance system throughout its entire area to monitor the movements of Bluetooth owners. A parent could attach a "Bluetag" onto a child. if you're concerned that someone might be able to track you down via Bluetooth. the best defense is to make your device non-discoverable to others when not using it. Each Bluetooth receiver acts like any regular Bluetooth device: It searches for every device within range. Some people worry about others using this sort of technology illegally and maliciously. recording and sending any data back to a single address. The point of installing the system was not to put the zoo's patrons under surveillance or to see which exhibitions people went to more often. for example. unless you've chosen to include your name or some other personally identifiable information in the name of your phone. With this knowledge. special "Bluetags" were made available to prevent parents from losing valuable belongings that tend to wander off -. Although it wouldn't present a perfectly accurate description of a person's movement.5. It's difficult for someone to use Bluetooth to identify you in particular.102/hsw/bluetooth_surveillance.

102/hsw/bluetooth_surveillance.htm 6/30/2010 .4.How Bluetooth Surveillance Works Page 6 of 6 http://10.5.