An engineering and computer science professor and his team from The Ohio State University discovered a design flaw in low-powered Bluetooth devices that leaves them susceptible to hacking.

Zhiqiang Lin, associate professor of computer science and engineering at the university, found the commonly used Bluetooth Low Energy devices, such as fitness trackers and smart speakers, are vulnerable when they communicate with their associated apps on the owner’s mobile phone.

"There is a fundamental flaw that leaves these devices vulnerable - first when they are initially paired to a mobile app, and then again when they are operating," Lin said. "And while the magnitude of that vulnerability varies, we found it to be a consistent problem among Bluetooth low energy devices when communicating with mobile apps,” Lin said.

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