New ‘Spectra’ Attack Breaks the Separation Between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Academics from Germany and Italy say they developed a new practical attack that breaks the separation between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies running on the same device, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Called Spectra, this attack works against “combo chips,” specialized chips that handle multiple types of radio wave-based wireless communications, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, and others. More particularly, the Spectra attack takes advantage of the coexistence mechanisms that chipset vendors include with their devices. Combo chips use these mechanisms to switch between wireless technologies at a rapid pace. [The new Spectra attack allows attackers to break the barrier between these technologies to launch denial-of-service (DoS), arbitrary code execution (ACE), or information disclosure attacks.] Additional details are not available, but the research team plans to provide a technical rundown during a virtual session at the Black Hat security conference in August. An academic paper will also be available at that time.

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