Skip to main content

Critical Bluetooth security bug discovered. Protect yourself with a quick update

Researchers have discovered a major new security flaw in Bluetooth, which could leave millions of devices at risk of a malicious hack.

The security vulnerability, which was recently discovered by a team at the Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and Accountability (CISPA), essentially allows an attacker to interfere when two devices try to connect, allowing a hacker to “break” Bluetooth security without anyone knowing.

That could allow a hacker to funnel data from any connected devices — from the music you hear through your headphones to the words you type on a Bluetooth keyboard — as long as they are within range.

Researchers have named the exploit KNOB — Key Negotiation of Bluetooth — since it can occur when two devices are “negotiating” a secure connection.

“The KNOB attack is a serious threat to the security and privacy of all Bluetooth users,” the researchers wrote in a paper released Tuesday. “We were surprised to discover such fundamental issues in a widely used and 20 years old standard.”

The issue is so serious that Bluetooth SIG,  the international body in charge of standards for Bluetooth connections, issued a security warning and has already released a fix — though it’s up to manufacturers to implement it.

“We evaluate our implementation on more than 14 Bluetooth chips from popular manufacturers such as Intel, Broadcom, Apple, and Qualcomm,” the researchers wrote. “Our results demonstrate that all tested devices are vulnerable to the KNOB attack.”

While there’s no sign that anyone has used this exploit to hack someone’s devices, it leaves nearly every Bluetooth device vulnerable. If you have a Bluetooth device, you should make sure that you update it to the latest drivers as soon as possible.

How to protect yourself from the KNOB attack

Luckily, most of the affected chip manufacturers, like Intel and Apple, have already implemented a fix and pushed out a new security update. Here are the potentially affected companies and how you can update your hardware:

Regardless of whether there’s been a newly discovered exploit, it’s always a good idea to keep your software and firmware up-to-date. Having the latest security updates can protect you from any potential hacks and keep your data — and devices — safe.

Mathew Katz
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mathew is a news editor at Digital Trends, specializing in covering all kinds of tech news — from video games to policy. He…
Best Prime Day tablet deals still available: iPad, Samsung Galaxy, more
Best Prime Day Deals

Prime Day is over, but it seems like a few companies forgot to take down their Prime Day deals. Tablets are a great way to play with apps or spend a lazy day on the couch watching shows from the Prime Day streaming service deal that you might pick up as well. Just be sure to wear headphones from one of these Prime Day headphones deals so you don't annoy your family while jamming out. In any event, the following Prime Day tablet deals come from a variety of brands, including Android tablets from Samsung and Lenovo, but we've also noted a shocking number of Apple Prime Day deals for Prime Day iPad deals this year as well, so you can get a great iPad on the cheap. Here are our top picks.
Today's best tablet deals

We've rounded up our favorite tablet deals below, which includes Apple's iPads and Android tablets by brands such as Samsung and Amazon. You have to hurry if you want to take advantage of any of these offers though, as Prime Day is technically over.

Read more
Best Prime Day Apple deals still available: AirPods, MacBooks, iPads
Best Prime Day Deals

Prime Day 2024 is over, but some deals are sticking around. If you've been holding off buying an Apple product until some great Prime Day deals, then you'll be happy to know that not all the deals are over. Even better, it seems that Apple and other retailers are pulling out the stops when it comes to Apple's products, as we're seeing quite a few great deals across the board. We've collected some of our favorite deals below, but if you'd like to check out a few more options, be sure to check out these Prime Day MacBook deals, Prime Day smartwatch deals, and Prime Day headphones deals.
Today's best Apple deals

Amazon Prime Day 2024 is scheduled for July 16 and 17. We've rounded up our favorite Apple deals that are still available, but you're going to have to hurry with your purchase because we're not sure how much time is remaining on these offers. There is no guarantee they will last until midnight on Wednesday.

Read more
This tiny patch could be the future of wearable technology
Sweat analysis smart patch.

Over the past couple of years, the wearable segment -- think smartwatches and fitness bands -- seems to have grown stagnant in bringing newer biosensing capabilities on board. Yes, engineering in its miniaturized form isn’t easy, but at the same time, we have seen some startling advancements targeted at wearables.

The latest one comes courtesy of experts at the ​​Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The team has developed a plaster that looks like a Band-Aid, capable of analyzing sweat and finding biomarkers. In the field of microfluidics, sweat is being seen as a goldmine of health-sensing data and as the next great avenue for wearable technology.

Read more