“Even in this age of the connected world, the most secure way to send a message is to use postal services….” believes Satyajit Sinha, Senior Analyst at IoT Analytics. Also Read - MediaTek Filogic 130, Filogic 130A chipsets with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 support launched for IoT devices
This, the first female vice president of the United States Kamala Devi Harris probably understands and that’s the reason she is wary of using Bluetooth wireless earphones. Also Read - Samsung's two unnamed phones get Bluetooth certification
Harris allegedly fears using wireless earphones. A report coming from Politico calls her “Bluetooth Phobic”. There’s no such disease out there. It just means Harris is afraid of using Bluetooth headsets. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic to launch soon in India
Harris and her fear of using wireless earphones
To recall, when President Biden won the election against Donald Trump, we saw Harris struggling to untangle her wired earphones to congratulate at the win. It was bizarre to see Harris untangling her wired earphones at such an iconic moment. But, it is, what it is.
She reportedly believes Bluetooth earphones increase the chances of bad/evil eye to track daily activities more frequently. Well, one who needs to track will do so regardless of anything, it’s just that technology makes such activities even easier or simpler.
As per the report, Harris also prefers emailing over messaging, yet again, keeping in mind security concerns around today’s instant messaging platforms. This comes around as a sensible decision since time and again, we have come across several WhatsApp (or other social media) chats leaking incidents, even though Meta claims the instant messaging platform is “end-to-end encrypted”.
The term end-to-end encrypted means, no one apart from the sender and receiver of the message can read it. In WhatsApp’s case, even the messaging platform and the Parent company Meta cannot access encrypted messages. Atleast that’s what they suggest.
Is it safe to use wireless earphones?
Since the US VP fears using Bluetooth headphones, should commoners worry too?
As per Satyajit Sinha, Senior Analyst at IoT Analytics, wireless earphones can indeed pose a security threat to some extent. However, he clarifies that it shouldn’t worry common people like you and me.
In most cases, prominent personalities can be affected by the security risks that wireless headsets pose. In this regard, what Harris does makes complete sense.
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Soon after Harris’ “Bluetooth phobia” was reported, security researchers were quick to call it a “boss” move. “If I was the high-level government, I wouldn’t use Bluetooth either. It’s not just the Bluetooth device or communications being insecure. The fact you have Bluetooth turned on exposes an obscure weirdo ancient firmware interface on your device for the attack,” a security researcher, who goes by the name SwiftOnSecurity on Twitter, states.
Security researchers suggest that most Bluetooth risks come down to the basic mechanics of how the Bluetooth protocol functions.
When Bluetooth is turned on, smart devices kept close to one another are constantly broadcasting a signal that can be detected by other devices within range. This, in some instances result in security risks, which can be avoided by turning the Bluetooth off.
Researchers believe that given the complexity of the attack, it is unlikely that the general people will be affected. But personalities like Kamal Harris must be wary.
How to stay safe
Highlighting an incident from 2017, Sinha said, a malware named blue brone used Bluetooth technology to attack nearly 8.2 billion devices including, laptops, smartphones, smart wearables, and connected cars. This clearly shows that Bluetooth devices are vulnerable to malware attacks, and one must be wary of them.
It should be noted that such attacks can affect both Android and iOS devices, however, the latter is said to have a more secure implementation of Bluetooth.
The best way to stay safe from Bluetooth security risks is by not accepting any unauthorized Bluetooth devices to connect to your laptop or smartphone. Additionally, you must also ensure to not connect your Bluetooth devices to others’ smartphones and notebooks.