Bluetooth speakers have become an important element in home entertainment systems. They are not only portable but also versatile in how they can be used.
Check out our guide on the best pairing Bluetooth Speakers in the market, and buy one if you need the latest.
Even then, they also have some vulnerabilities that can be manipulated by malicious neighbors.
Bluetooth speakers can be hacked if it is discoverable by malicious individuals with expertise on how to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Bluetooth technology. By doing that, a hacker can connect to your Bluetooth speaker through its connection, and control its functionality. The hacking however is dictated by Bluetooth capabilities.
The Bluetooth connection process is always simple. This is always the main factor that makes Bluetooth devices vulnerable when it comes to hacking.
This means that hacking only occurs when the hacker is near the speaker. A distance that should be within 30 feet from the speaker.
Once the hacker establishes a connection with your speaker, it is subjected to all kinds of security vulnerabilities.
It is important to note that Bluetooth speakers are the most secure devices when it comes to Bluetooth hacking.
Of all Bluetooth devices, it is Bluetooth speakers’ audio profile that can be set up in a way that most of the communication goes one way.
That always should be to the speaker and very little information back to the host device.
KNOB Bluetooth Attacks
Bluetooth technology has advanced and gained popularity over the years, so have hackers.
A recently released attack Key Negotiation of Bluetooth (KNOB) attack has made hackers have complete control of Bluetooth devices they wish to without the victim being aware.e future of website creation is here.
Devices negotiate when they are paired through Bluetooth and the one thing that they agree on is encryption.
This encryption is strong and helps increase the compatibility of the involved devices. What the KNOB attack does is that it takes advantage of a flaw.
This flaw is what allows the hacker to force the usage of weak encryption between the connecting devices. For a KNOB attack to be successful it must reduce the link key entropy to 1-byte.
Bluetooth Encryption and hacking
How much the encryption changes over time and its importance in Bluetooth security are dictated by the level of entropy. Malicious users can crack the key easily because it changes very slowly.
These key negotiations attacks can be applied to millions of Bluetooth devices. The devices mostly affected are manufactured before 2018. This means that devices with Bluetooth versions 5.1 and 5.2 are not affected.
It is obvious now that Bluetooth vulnerability has emerged and it is getting more complicated day in day out.
There is even the emergence of tools that give hackers a clear view of the Bluetooth traffic traveling over the air. It is time for respective utilities to research for a solution to solve this issue.
How to Tell if your Bluetooth Speakers have been Hacked.
Wireless Bluetooth speakers always automatically connect with the last paired device. If your device doesn’t connect automatically, there is a high probability that your speaker has been hacked.
In this circumstance, your speaker does not recognize your device and you have to pair the devices newly for it to connect. For this to be truly the case, your speaker must have been left on.
If you had not left the speaker on there is no way anybody would gain access to it through Bluetooth.
Therefore, if there are such complications after you left the speaker off the only reason that can explain that is Bluetooth unreliability.
You can also know that your Bluetooth speaker has been hacked if someone overrides you from your speaker.
This means that if you are listening to a program, it instantly changes to the program the hacker is playing.
When your speaker is playing music or programs that are not on your device and you do not know the source, then your speaker has been hacked.
For speakers with displays, if you had already paired your device with your speaker, and you are asked for a password when connecting, your speaker has been hacked.
It means that someone has already cracked your password and used the speaker without you knowing.
Hacking Bluetooth speakers is never easy. People who succeed in doing so are close to you or have expertise in doing so.
What to Do if you Find your Bluetooth Speaker is Hacked.
It is always not easy to kick someone out of your Bluetooth device. There are several methods that you can use to kick out hackers from your Bluetooth device.
1. Reset the Bluetooth Device
First, you can reset your Bluetooth speaker. Resetting Bluetooth speakers will require you to check the user’s manual because different devices are reset differently.
In some speakers, you long-press the power button while in other speakers you long-press the Bluetooth button.
Resetting your Bluetooth speaker will erase all the memory of the previously paired devices hence kicking out a hacker who had connected to your device.
2. Switch it Off
Secondly, you can use a trick that most people use. When your Bluetooth device is connected by your neighbor, even when switched off it will still connect to the last connected device.
To change this switch off the speaker and on your phone’s Bluetooth settings try connecting to the device since it is already among your phone paired devices.
While showing pairing, power on your speaker to connect to your device immediately. Note that this trick does not work on all devices.
3. Override the connection
The other way to kick a hacker out of your speaker is through overriding. This is available in speakers with advanced technology. These speakers allow the connection of two devices.
If someone else is connected to your Bluetooth device, you can kick him out of your device by just connecting to the device normally.
How to Prevent your Bluetooth Devices from being Hacked?
1. Turn it Off when Not in Use
The most obvious way to prevent your Bluetooth devices from being hacked is by turning off your Bluetooth when not in use and minimizing its use as well.
The more we use Bluetooth, the more we increase the risk of hackers hacking our devices.
Using Bluetooth for long hours can most probably make you forget switching off the device after use hence making the device more vulnerable to hacking.
2. Do not pair with Unknown Devices
Being cautious of other devices also prevents the hacking of your device. You should not pair your speaker or any other Bluetooth device with unknown devices. This prevents hackers from gaining full access to your Bluetooth devices.
3. Set Strong Passwords
For advanced devices, it is advisable to set a strong Bluetooth password to keep off hackers. Always use a password that is not easily guessable.
At least make it hard for people who may try connecting without your consent. Remember also not to disclose your password to anyone. In short, do not cause problems yourself.
4. Set Undiscoverable
Setting your device Bluetooth to the undiscoverable mode when not using it also helps keep off hackers.
When your device Bluetooth is undiscoverable no one can pair their devices to your device.
5. Use Audio Jacks
Prevent your Bluetooth devices from being hacked by using audio jacks. This is only applicable to Bluetooth speakers that support different modes of play.
Inserting an audio jack into your speaker means that you have changed the mode of play from Bluetooth to the audio jerk disabling Bluetooth for that moment.
This makes it undiscoverable or even if discoverable it can’t connect. An alternative for the audio jerk is the FM mode.
6. Buy Devices with the Latest Bluetooth version
When purchasing Bluetooth devices always consider their Bluetooth technology. Just like other software and applications, Bluetooth versions are also updated.
The first version was 1.0 and the latest version is 5.2. The devices with the older versions are at more risk of being hacked compared to devices with the latest version.
FAQs on Home Bluetooth Device Hacking
Can my Bluetooth be hacked?
Your Bluetooth can be hacked by anybody with a Bluetooth enabled device. But this only happens if your Bluetooth is on and in discoverable mode.
It also relies on the distance between the hacker and your device which should be within 30 feet.
How do you override a Bluetooth speaker?
It is usually impossible to force connect to a Bluetooth speaker that is already connected to another device. Even the Bluetooth device itself cannot terminate an already established connection to force a new one.
This can change in devices that are made to support multiple connections and devices that come with a software control panel. An example of such a device is BlasterAXX.
Is my Bluetooth connection secure?
Regardless of the Bluetooth Vulnerabilities that a hacker can exploit, a Bluetooth connection can be regarded as more secure than an internet connection.
Most Bluetooth devices will ask you to verify a connection before it is established, even if you have no set password.
Can someone connect to my Bluetooth without me knowing?
This depends on the kind of device you are using. In phones, laptops, and PCs it is hard for someone to establish a connection without you receiving a notification to accept them.
In most Bluetooth speakers, once you leave them on, you cannot have control over who can connect to them.
Wondering how this encryption happens? See this clip