New Bluetooth Flaw Lets Hackers Take Over Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS Devices

December 07, 2023The Hacker NewsMobile Security / Vulnerability

Full Bluetooth

A critical security flaw in Bluetooth can be exploited by threat actors to take control of Android, Linux, macOS and iOS devices.

Tracked as CVE-2023-45866the issue relates to a case of authentication bypass that enables attackers to connect to vulnerable devices and inject keystrokes to achieve code execution as a victim.

“Many Bluetooth stacks have authentication bypass vulnerabilities that allow an attacker to connect to a discoverable host without user confirmation and inject keystrokes,” said the security researcher. Marc NewlinWHO exposed the errors of software vendors in August 2023.

Specifically, the attack tricks the target device into thinking it is connected to a Bluetooth keyboard by exploiting an “untrusted pairing mechanism” defined in the Bluetooth specification.

Successful exploitation of the flaw could allow an adversary to physically connect to a vulnerable device and send keystrokes to install apps and run arbitrary commands.


It is worth pointing out that the attack does not require any special hardware, and can be carried out from a Linux computer using a regular Bluetooth adapter. More technical details of the bug are expected to be released in the future.

The vulnerability affects a wide range of devices running Android (back to version 4.2.2, released in November 2012), iOS, Linux, and macOS.

Additionally, the bug affects macOS and iOS when Bluetooth is enabled and a Magic Keyboard is paired with the vulnerable device. It also works with Apple’s LockDown Mode, which is meant to secure against sophisticated digital threats.

In an advisory released this month, Google SAYS CVE-2023-45866 “may lead to remote (proximal) privilege escalation without additional execution privileges required.”

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