Bluetooth flaw in Linux kernel allows nearby hackers to execute code

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Google engineer Andy Nguyen is reporting via a Twitter thread that a new security vulnerability has been found in Linux operating systems that run a Bluetooth software stack called BlueZ. Nguyen has named the vulnerability BleedingTooth and claims in his Twitter post that the vulnerability allows nearby hackers to conduct zero-click root-level code execution.

Linux is an very similar to Unix—it became popular over a decade ago as a research and due to its open-source licensing and zero cost. In more recent years, it has been used to create dedicated applications—NASA uses it for many of its space applications, for example. It has also become popular for companies making Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices because it allows them to avoid royalty fees.

In this new effort, Nguyen has found a vulnerability that allows hackers within the range of a Bluetooth signal to gain root access to computers or devices running BlueZ. Notably, many IoT devices use BlueZ to allow users to communicate with their devices. Intel, a major backer of the group behind BlueZ, has announced that it is characterizing the vulnerability as a flaw that provides an escalation of privileges or the disclosure of information.

Because it is still a new discovery, little is known about the vulnerability—still, the team at BlueZ has released a patch for it and made it freely available. Also, Intel has issued an advisory on its web page, noting that the severity has been classified as high.

Despite the severity of the , it is not considered to be something that the user community should worry about. A would have to gain access to a building housing such a device or computer and have the necessary knowledge and equipment to take advantage of the situation. And there would also be the issue of motive—not many hackers are interested in taking over an IoT coffeepot sitting on someone's kitchen counter. As with many computer vulnerabilities, those most at risk are those who work with very sensitive or valuable information.

© 2020 Science X Network

Citation: Bluetooth flaw in Linux kernel allows nearby hackers to execute code (2020, October 16) retrieved 14 July 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Vulnerability found in Apple's T2 security chip


Feedback to editors