People traveling on the capital’s metro report problems with the operation of smartphones. Devices communicate an attempt to connect via Bluetooth and then hang. The problem may not only concern Warsaw. Is this a hacker attack?
“This morning, after entering the subway, one of my headphones was muted and then my phone hung up. I received a message on the screen that I was trying to connect to my iPhone via a TV device. The phone got locked and I couldn’t do anything and it was turned off. Then, after about 4-5 minutes, I managed to turn it on and (…) it was blocked and turned off again,” a report with this content was sent by one of the readers of niebezpiecznik.pl. And he was not the only one, because similar events have intensified since the beginning of November.
Experts warn that such difficulties occur both in the case of iOS devices, i.e. iPhones and Android, including the latest generation. Moreover, the matter concerns not only Warsaw. Niebezpiecznik journalists explain that it is not a hacker attack, but the reason may be a script that allows spamming smartphones.
Did your phone hang up on the subway? This may be a malicious script
The method of operation is quite simple, and the action can be performed not only by an advanced programmer, but also by a person with appropriate knowledge. “The script floods nearby devices with hundreds of pairing packets (e.g. headphones),” it explained. When such an incident occurs, you may not be able to use your phone, but no data is stolen.
Niebezpiecznik.pl also provides a simple way to protect yourself. On iPhone, you need to turn off Bluetooth, on Windows devices, just turn off “Swift Pair” in the BlueTooth options, and on Android, uncheck “Scan for nearby devices”. However, this is rather a preventive action. It may turn out that if someone wants to hinder the operation of our device, it will be impossible to turn off Bluetooth during the “attack”.