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NIST Releases Final Version of Revised Bluetooth Security Guide

From NIST Tech Beat: June 12, 2012

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Contact: Evelyn Brown
301-975-5661

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued the final version of the Guide to Bluetooth Security (NIST Special Publication 800-121 Rev. 1). The publication is a revision of the original guide, which was released in September 2008.

A draft version of the revised document was released for public comment in October 2011. The final version reflects these comments, which recommended no significant changes other than minor technical corrections and rewordings to the draft text.

The Guide to Bluetooth Security describes the security capabilities of technologies based on Bluetooth, an open standard for short-range radio frequency communication, and gives recommendations to organizations on securing their devices effectively. Bluetooth technology has been integrated into many devices including cell phones, laptops, printers, automobiles, and medical devices enabling users to form ad hoc networks to transfer voice and data. Significant changes from the original SP 800-121 include an update to the vulnerability mitigation information for “Secure Simple Pairing”, which helps protect against eavesdropping, and the introduction of Bluetooth version 3.0 High Speed and Bluetooth version 4.0 Low Energy security mechanisms and recommendations. Version 3.0 provides data rate improvement over previous versions of Bluetooth, while 4.0 applies to smaller, resource-constrained devices like heart rate monitors and other wearable medical sensor networks.

The final version of SP 800-121 Rev. 1 is available at www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=911133.