Lost and Found: Stopping Bluetooth Finders from Leaking Private Information [article]

Mira Weller, Jiska Classen, Fabian Ullrich, Denis Waßmann, Erik Tews
2020 pre-print
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
more » ... nd 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.
doi:10.1145/3395351.3399422 arXiv:2005.08208v1 fatcat:4iasgzuiuncjjpi5273q5qjr4i