Lost and found: Stopping bluetooth finders from leaking private information

Mira Weller, Jiska Classen, Fabian Ullrich, Denis Waßmann, Erik Tews

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A Bluetooth finder is a small battery-powered device that can be attached to important items such as bags, keychains, or bikes. The finder maintains a Bluetooth connection with the user's phone, and the user is notified immediately on connection loss. We provide the first comprehensive security and privacy analysis of current commercial Bluetooth finders. Our analysis reveals several significant security vulnerabilities in those products concerning mobile applications and the corresponding backend services in the cloud. We also show that all analyzed cloud-based products leak more private data than required for their respective cloud services. Overall, there is a big market for Bluetooth finders, but none of the existing products is privacy-friendly. We close this gap by designing and implementing PrivateFind, which ensures locations of the user are never leaked to third parties. It is designed to run on similar hardware as existing finders, allowing vendors to update their systems using PrivateFind.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWiSec 2020 - Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages184-194
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380065
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2020
Event13th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, WiSec 2020 - Linz, Virtual, Austria
Duration: 8 Jul 202010 Jul 2020
Conference number: 13

Conference

Conference13th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, WiSec 2020
Abbreviated titleWiSec 2020
CountryAustria
CityLinz, Virtual
Period8/07/2010/07/20

Keywords

  • bluetooth
  • internet of things
  • localization
  • privacy

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