Gartner: Bluetooth will be riddled with security threats

"Security will be an issue. I can guarantee it," said Ken Dulaney, vice president, mobile at Gartner.

Bluetooth is an open specification for radio-based voice and data communications across multiple operating systems, wireless network architectures and devices such as notebooks, phones, printers and even toasters.

By its very nature, Bluetooth has been described as promiscuous because it is a roaming technology -- this is mainly due to it being limited to a range of 10m. To compensate for this, a Bluetooth-enabled device will constantly search for a base station to carry its signal and keep it connected. This leads to its perceived nature as a security threat, as a signal carrying information from one device to another can be intercepted or compromised.

Dulaney did allay some fears, saying that these were not "insurmountable" problems. According to Dulaney, the Bluetooth security protocols have been well considered. He said the security problems that will come out of the woodwork as Bluetooth gains momentum is a natural occurrence with any new technology as it goes through its teething progress.

Even so, this threat is still a while off. Dulaney believes there is still a wait -- largely due to the high cost of a Bluetooth-enabled chip -- before Bluetooth reaches critical mass. "When the [Bluetooth] chip gets to $5 it will go in anything [devices]. That will happen in 18-24 months. Then it will take off," he said. Dulaney likened it to USB. "It has to be everywhere. Until everyone has Bluetooth, nobody wants it."

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Howard Dahdah

PC World
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