Threat Intelligence for Bluetooth-enabled Systems with Automotive Applications: An Empirical Study

Hun Cheah, Jeremy Bryans, Daniel S. Fowler, Siraj Shaikh

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Modern vehicles are opening up, with wireless interfaces such as Bluetooth integrated in order to enable comfort and safety features. Furthermore a plethora of aftermarket devices introduce additional connectivity which contributes to the driving experience. This connectivity opens the vehicle to potentially malicious attacks, which could have negative consequences with regards to safety. In this paper, we survey vehicles with Bluetooth connectivity from a threat intelligence
    perspective to gain insight into conditions during real world driving. We do this in two ways: firstly, by examining Bluetooth implementation in vehicles and gathering information from inside the cabin, and secondly, using war-nibbling (general monitoring and scanning for nearby devices). We find that as the vehicle age decreases, the security (relatively speaking) of the Bluetooth implementation increases, but that there is still some technological lag with regards to Bluetooth implementation in vehicles. We also find that a large proportion of vehicles and aftermarket devices still use legacy pairing (and are therefore more insecure), and that these vehicles remain visible for sufficient time to mount an attack (assuming some premeditation and preparation). We demonstrate a real-world threat scenario as an example of the latter. Finally, we provide some recommendations on how the security risks we discover could be mitigated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Apr 2017
    EventWorkshop on Safety and Security of Intelligent Vehicles - Denver, United States
    Duration: 26 Jun 2017 → …
    Conference number: 3


    WorkshopWorkshop on Safety and Security of Intelligent Vehicles
    Abbreviated titleSSIV
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Period26/06/17 → …
    Internet address


    • automotive
    • Bluetooth
    • cybersecurity
    • infotaiment


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