BLURtooth Vulnerability

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BLURtooth Vulnerability

BLURtooth, is referred to the vulnerability for the devices supporting Bluetooth BR/EDR(Bluetooth Basic Rate/ Enhanced Data Rate) and LE(Bluetooth in Low Energy) using Cross-Transport Key Derivation (CTKD) for pairing to key overwrite, which enables an attacker to gain additional access to profiles or services that are not restricted by reducing the encryption key strength or overwriting an authenticated key with an unauthenticated key.


The Dual-Mode devices – as detailed in both the Bluetooth Core Specification versions 4.2 and 5.0, Bluetooth CTKD can be used for pairing by devices that support both Low Energy (BLE) and Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) transport methods.

CTKD pairing allows the devices to pair once using either transport method while generating both the BR/EDR and LE Long Term Keys (LTK) without needing to pair a second time. Dual-mode devices using CTKD to generate a LTK or Link Key (LK) are able to overwrite the original LTK or LK in cases where that transport was enforcing a higher level of security.


CVE-2020-15802 – Several potential attacks could be performed, including a Man in the Middle (MITM) attack. The vulnerability is being referred to as BLURtooth and the group of attacks is being referred to as the BLUR attacks.

It may be possible to pair with certain devices using JustWorks pairing over BR/EDR or LE and overwriting an existing LTK or LK on the other transport. When this results in the reduction of encryption key strength or the overwrite of an authenticated key with an unauthenticated key, an attacker could gain additional access to profiles or services that are not otherwise restricted.


The Bluetooth SIG is recommending that potentially vulnerable implementations introduce the restrictions on Cross-Transport Key Derivation mandated in Bluetooth Core Specification versions 5.1 and later.

The Bluetooth SIG is also broadly communicating details on this vulnerability and its remedies to our member companies and is encouraging them to rapidly integrate any necessary patches. 

As always, Bluetooth users should ensure they have installed the latest recommended updates from device and operating system manufacturers.

By | 2020-09-10T13:39:12+05:30 September 10th, 2020|Mobile Security, Software Issues|

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