A location privacy analysis of Bluetooth mesh

AutorCaesar, Matthias; Steffan, Jan
ArtJournal Article
AbstraktPrevious research demonstrated that Bluetooth Low Energy beacons enable very accurate indoor positioning. This leads to the question whether a Bluetooth Mesh network could inadvertently serve the same purpose, leading to unexpected location privacy violations. We analyze the information broadcasted by a typical Bluetooth Mesh installation and show that it can indeed be utilized by a potentially malicious smartphone app in order to localize a smartphone user within a building. This is facilitated by the unique Bluetooth device address regularly emitted by each mesh node. Further, we show that implementing address randomization on the side of the mesh network completely prevents this type of positioning without having a negative impact on the functioning of the mesh network.