Feeds

Bluetooth boom spawns ‘bluejacking’

Rad Fad

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

With Bluetooth finding its way into an increasing number of devices, a new pastime called 'bluejacking' has popped up.

In simple terms, bluejacking is the art of anonymously sending messages to users of other Bluetooth devices who have switched on the technology and made their handset "visible" to potential bluejackers. Since Bluetooth-enabled phones, PDAs and laptops can search for other devices within their short range, bluejackers in crowded transport hubs, pubs or any other public place can easily send messages without being detected.

Recipients must, however, accept the incoming data and, as such, bluejackers are unable to send long messages, since they may be refused. The get around this, the sender could set their username as "You have just been Bluejacked!" so that would-be victims receive a message along the lines of "Income message from: 'You have just been Bluejacked.' Would you like to accept?"

Though certainly an annoyance, bluejacking does not pose a security threat and individuals wishing to avoid the aggravation can set their device to "invisible" or can simply shut off Bluetooth when not using it.

Though the ranks of bluejackers remain small, chatter on Internet forums about the hobby has already begun and a what is possibly the first bluejacking Web site has popped up at Bluejackq.com.

The Bluetooth protocol enables devices such as mobile phones and laptops to send data to other devices, without wires, over distances of about 30 feet. Introduced as a replacement for cables in 1998, Bluetooth has been slow to gain mass-market penetration, with interoperability and interference problems blamed as the main reasons.

But now that the technology can be found in an estimated 100 million devices - from cars and laptops to phones and MP3 players - it is widely expected to become used by more mainstream consumers in the months ahead, according to the Bluetooth SIG, the group that promotes and ensures interoperability for the technology.

Bluetooth's growth may not convert bluejacking into anything more than a short-lived fad. "I have to say, I'm not overly enthused by it," commented Matthew Towers, IMS Research's senior Bluetooth analyst, referring to bluejacking as a market driver.

There is limited room for Bluetooth messaging applications, but other uses of the technology are likely to drive the technology in more meaningful ways, Towers forecasts. Among the top drivers will be Bluetooth hands-free earpieces for mobile users looking to talk on their phone while in the car, he says.

According to Frost & Sullivan, shipments of Bluetooth devices will double in 2003 to 70 million units.

© ENN

Related stories

'Social Hardware' nears with Bluetooth iPod
Goodbye, PC; hello, PS (Personal Server)
Orange, Smart launch Bluetooth car

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.