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No need to ask the Android: Bluetooth-Low-Energy scanning without the location permission

Abstract : Bluetooth-Low-Energy (BLE) scanning can be misused by applications to determine a device location. In order to prevent unconsented location tracking by applications, Android conditions the use of some BLE functions to the prior obtention of the location permission and the activation of the location setting. In this paper, we detail a vulnerability that allows applications to perform BLE scans without the location permission. We present another flaw allowing to bypass the active location requirement. Together those flaws allow an application to fully circumvent the location restrictions applying to BLE scanning. The presented vulnerability affects devices running Android 6 up to 11 and could be misused by application developers to track the location of users. This vulnerability has been disclosed to Google and assigned the CVE-2021-0328.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-03265556
Contributor : Mathieu Cunche Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 8:40:24 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 4:27:59 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 6:10:14 PM

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Vincent Toubiana, Mathieu Cunche. No need to ask the Android: Bluetooth-Low-Energy scanning without the location permission. WiSec 2021 - 14th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, Jun 2021, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. pp.1-6, ⟨10.1145/3448300.3467824⟩. ⟨hal-03265556⟩

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