WiFi Direct Could Be the Death of Bluetooth

By Tony Bradley, PC World |  Mobile & Wireless, bluetooth, wifi

There are potential security concerns that come with a technology like Wi-Fi Direct. Bluetooth has been the subject of security issues like Bluejacking which enables an attacker to connect anonymously with an insecure Bluetooth device and hijack it or compromise its data. Bluejacking is only a threat in a radius of 20 or 30 feet. Wi-Fi ranges are much greater which opens the possibility of attackers making anonymous connections from the parking lot or across the street.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which includes members like Cisco and Intel, is aware of the security concerns as well as the risks Wi-Fi Direct could introduce for enterprise networks. Wi-Fi Direct will include support for WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) and AES encryption for more secure connections and measures are being developed to enable IT admins to exert some control over Wi-Fi Direct networks within their environment.

I think Bluetooth's days could be numbered. If Wi-Fi Direct can provide the same short range, ad hoc device connectivity as Bluetooth (and more) using the same wireless networking hardware that is already included in virtually every notebook, netbook, mobile phone, and other device, why bother adding a Bluetooth adapter and dealing with Bluetooth drivers on top of that?

Tony Bradley is an information security and unified communications expert with more than a decade of enterprise IT experience. He tweets as @PCSecurityNews and provides tips, advice and reviews on information security and unified communications technologies on his site at tonybradley.com.

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