Critical Bluetooth Security Flaw Threatens Multiple Operating Systems

December 7, 2023

A serious security vulnerability in Bluetooth could enable attackers to seize control of devices operating on Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS. Identified as CVE-2023-45866, this issue is an authentication bypass that allows attackers to connect to vulnerable devices and inject keystrokes, potentially resulting in code execution.

Security researcher Marc Newlin, who revealed the flaws to the software vendors in August 2023, stated, "Multiple Bluetooth stacks have authentication bypass vulnerabilities that permit an attacker to connect to a discoverable host without user confirmation and inject keystrokes." The attack tricks the target device into believing it's connected to a Bluetooth keyboard by exploiting an "unauthenticated pairing mechanism" defined in the Bluetooth specification.

Successful exploitation of this flaw could allow an adversary in close physical proximity to connect to a vulnerable device and transmit keystrokes to install apps and execute arbitrary commands. Notably, the attack does not require any specialized hardware and can be carried out from a Linux computer using a standard Bluetooth adapter. More technical details about the flaw are expected to be released in the future.

The vulnerability impacts a wide range of devices running Android (back to version 4.2.2, released in November 2012), iOS, Linux, and macOS. The bug also affects macOS and iOS when Bluetooth is enabled and a Magic Keyboard has been paired with the vulnerable device. It is also effective in Apple's LockDown Mode, designed to protect against advanced digital threats.

In a recent advisory, Google mentioned that CVE-2023-45866 "could lead to remote (proximal/adjacent) escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed."

Latest News

Like what you see?

Get a digest of headlines, vulnerabilities, risk context, and more delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe Below

By submitting this form, you’re giving us permission to email you. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Accelerate Security Teams

Continuously identify and prioritize the risks that are most critical in your environment, and validate that your remediation efforts are reducing risk. An always-on single source-of-truth of your assets, services, and vulnerabilities.