DEFCON Hacking And Security Experts Warn To Turn Off Bluetooth ASAP

It would seem like common sense if you are among the people attending a hacking conference to secure your devices against attacks. After all, you and your tech gear are walking into the proverbial lion's den. If you were ever going to have your fitness tracker, smartphone, laptop, or other tech device hacked, DEFCON is where it will likely happen.

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Security Boulevard has issued some steps that attendees to the conference will want to follow to protect their devices before turning up at the convention, but the same steps could be used for protecting your devices every day. Some suggest using burner mobile phones or laptops, but there are other things that attendees can do to prepare themselves and devices. The first suggestion is to backup your devices to protect against lost data in a theft or if you accidentally leave your device in a cab or on an aircraft.

Before attending the conference, people are urged to apply all updates to their devices. Enabling full disk encryption on your laptop is a good idea. Passcodes need to be more than a simple four-digit code that is easily hacked or guessed, the longer it is the better-protected devices will be. Biometrics like Face ID is good to keep your password safe, but there have been instances where police hold the device up to a suspect's face to unlock it making facial scanning an issue for some.

Users are urged to clear out their saved Wi-Fi network lists. Hackers are known to set up nefarious hotspots with common names to trick people into logging on. Resetting the MAC address on your laptop is recommended. Bluetooth devices are particularly vulnerable, earlier this month a Bluetooth security vulnerability was announced that could leave devices open to attacks.

Bluetooth devices that could be used to track you that some might not think of include fitness trackers and headphones. The use of wireless mice and keyboards isn't recommended due to the threat of mousejacking at the event. Protecting devices from USB attacks is also recommended by using a whitelist for your devices or disabling USB.