Fri, 28 Jul 2006
A coworker of mine showed me an interesting tool: Bloover. It is a security auditing tool for BlueTooth-enabled phones. It seems my Nokia has a huge security hole - Bloover running on his phone (it is a Java ME application) can download the whole contact list, list of recent calls, and few other things from my Nokia, even though the devices are not paired with each other, and my phone is not set to be visible via BlueTooth.
I ended up disabling BlueTooth on my phone, and enabling it only when I need it. Now I have to find whether this particular hole has been patched by Nokia, and whether they will provide a new firmware for free. I am afraid they won't.
This is the same problem with all closed-source devices. They cannot be fixed without the vendor's help. And some vendors are extremely unhelpful with fixing their devices (I have to name Cisco as well as Nokia here). For example, HP does this better with their switches. While the firmware is not open source, they provide all the firmware upgrades freely downloadable from their web site.
This problem will become more and more common, as more and more devices will have some sort of CPU and firmware inside. So I wonder what my next mobile phone will be so that I will not fall to the same firmware upgrade trap? Maybe some Linux-based Motorola.