Feeds

Bluetooth boom spawns ‘bluejacking’

Rad Fad

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?