David Sopas – Web Security Researcher

December 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

BLE Driving 101

I’m writing this article on my path of becoming a better researcher on IoT devices.
My goal was to create a portable device that I could use to scan BLE (aka Bluetooth Low Energy) devices and improve future tasks – like pentesting IoT for clients.

Disclaimer: No harm or malicious activities have been done to any device. Don’t use this type of information to do illegal stuff.

I used bleah (props to evilsocket) to record all the BLE devices on a car drive. Keep in mind that BLE has a max. range of around 100 meters (on open space) but the cheap adapter that I used had a range of 20 to 50 meters.
So first things first right? Modify my dongle.

I had the HUGE help of kripthor and we started by disassembling the device and identify where the antenna was.

We removed the connection and, after a few tries, we connected the external antenna of a old IP cam. Because the PCB was too small and the wires could break when we connect the device, we used a solder wire plastic holder (as a case) to have it all together and connected everything with chinese glue gun 🙂

This was the final result.

On the left you have a original dongle and in the right the mean mother f*cker dongle!

What I noticed… Better range and signal. I did a couple of tests using my own wearable and than my friend Paulo enters the scene to hold his watch in a open space.

Original dongle
80 meter range didn’t detect it
60 meter range -117dBm (sometimes didn’t detect it)
30 meter range -84dbm
10 meter range -76dbm

Mean mother f*cker dongle
100 meter range -92 dBm
60 meter range -84dBm
30 meter range -76dbm
10 meter range -71dbm

Now that I have a better dongle 😀 I had it to my portable configuration:

1x CSR 4.0 bluetooth adapter
1x Raspberry Pi 2 model B with a acrylic case (running Raspbian)
1x Powerbank

Devices found

Vendors that allowed connections ✓:
53x Unknown vendors
10x Samsung Electronics Co.
4x Apple
2x Polar Electro Oy
2x Samsung Electro-mechanics(thailand)
1x Texas Instruments
1x Google
1x Huawei Technologies Co

Totalling 74 devices in a 2.4km car drive across the city. On the unknown vendors I saw a couple of chinese wearables, Tiles, Bike GPS, etc:

Next step is to check popular areas, eg: running or bikes race events. That would pick lots of BLE devices.

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2 thoughts on “BLE Driving 101

  1. JIm K says:

    I dabbled with BLE as well a bit, but didn’t pursue to for too much.
    Above where you detected the various devices, what software did you run on the raspberry pi?

    Did you try to use ubertooth at all as well?

  2. David Sopas says:

    BLEAH from @evilsocket.

    Yes I used ubertooth and my dongle also with Blue Hydra.

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