International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Cryptographic Analysis of the Bluetooth Secure Connection Protocol Suite

Marc Fischlin , TU Darmstadt, Germany
Olga Sanina , TU Darmstadt, Germany
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-92075-3_24
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Presentation: Slides
Conference: ASIACRYPT 2021
Abstract: We give a cryptographic analysis of the Bluetooth Secure Connection Protocol Suite. Bluetooth supports several subprotocols such as numeric comparison, passkey entrance, and just works, in order to match the devices' different input/output capabilities. Previous analyses (e.g., Lindell, CT-RSA'09, or Troncoso and Hale, NDSS'21) often considered (and confirmed) the security of single subprotocols only. Recent practically verified attacks, however, such as the Method Confusion Attack (von Tschirschnitz et al., S&P 21) against Bluetooth's authentication and key secrecy property often exploit the bad interplay of different subprotocols. Even worse, some of these attacks show that one cannot show the Bluetooth protocol suite to be a secure authenticated key exchange protocol. We therefore aim at the best we can hope for, and show that the protocol still matches the common key secrecy requirements of a key-exchange protocol if one assumes a trust-on-first-use relationship. This means that the adversary needs to mount an active attack during the first connection, otherwise the subsequent reconnections remain secure. Investigating the cryptographic strength of the Bluetooth protocol we also look into the privacy mechanism of address randomization in Bluetooth (which is only available in the Low Energy version). We show that the cryptography indeed provides a decent level of address privacy, although this does not rule out identification of devices via other means, such as physical characteristics.
Video from ASIACRYPT 2021
  title={Cryptographic Analysis of the Bluetooth Secure Connection Protocol Suite},
  author={Marc Fischlin and Olga Sanina},