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Proceedings Paper

Bluetooth and security
Author(s): Penn Ivo
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Paper Abstract

Bluetooth is the new emerging technology for wireless communication. It can be used to connect almost any device to another device. The traditional example is to link a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or a laptop to a mobile phone. That way you can easily take remote connections with your PDA or laptop without getting your mobile phone from your pocket or messing around with cables. A Class 3 Bluetooth device has range of 0,1 - 10 meters. The architecture of Bluetooth is formed by the radio, the base frequency part and the Link Manager. Bluetooth uses the radio range of 2.45 GHz. The theoretical maximum bandwidth is 1 Mb/s, which is slowed down a bit by Forward Error Correction (FEC). Bluetooth specification designates the frequency hopping to be implemented with Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK). The base frequency part of the Bluetooth architecture uses a combination of circuit and packet switching technologies. Bluetooth can support either one asynchronous data channel and up to three simultaneous synchronous speech channels, or one channel that transfers asynchronous data and synchronous speech simultaneously. The Link Manager is an essential part of the Bluetooth architecture. It uses Link Manager Protocol (LMP) to configure, authenticate and handle the connections between Bluetooth devices. Several Bluetooth devices can form an ad hoc network. In these piconets, one of the Bluetooth devices will act as a master and the others are slaves. The master sets the frequency-hopping behavior of the piconet. It is also possible to connect up to 10 piconets to each other to form so-called scatternets. Bluetooth has been designed to operate in noisy radio frequency environments, and uses a fast acknowledgement and frequency-hopping scheme to make the link robust, communication-wise. Bluetooth radio modules avoid interference from other signals by hopping to a new frequency after transmitting or receiving a packet. Compared with other systems operating in the same frequency band, the Bluetooth radio typically hops faster and uses shorter packets. This is because short packages and fast hopping limit the impact of microwave ovens and other sources of disturbances. Use of Forward Error Correction (FEC) limits the impact of random noise on long-distance links. Bluetooth transmissions are secure in a business and home environment. Bluetooth has built in sufficient encryption and authentication and is thus very secure in any environment. In addition to this, a frequency-hopping scheme with 1600 hops/sec. is employed. This is far quicker than any other competing system. This, together with an automatic output power adaption to reduce the range exactly to requirement, makes the system extremely difficult to eavesdrop. Information Integrity in Bluetooth has these components: Random Number Generation, Encryption, Encryption Key Management and Authentication.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 April 2004
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 5445, Microwave and Optical Technology 2003, (7 April 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.557839
Show Author Affiliations
Penn Ivo, Technical Univ. of Ostrava (Czech Republic)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5445:
Microwave and Optical Technology 2003
Jaromir Pistora; Kamil Postava; Miroslav Hrabovsky; Banmali S. Rawat, Editor(s)

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