Bluejacking is the sending of unsolicited messages over Bluetooth to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, or PCs. The messages usually include an anonymous, playful, or flirtatious message. It is similar to Wi-Fi “wardriving”, but with portable Bluetooth-enabled devices rather than wireless networks.
The name bluejacking is derived from a character named ‘Jack the bluetooth Ripper’ who originated the idea for a game, or experiment, to wirelessly connect to others and see what types of information could be obtained. The bane of unsuspecting victims, the term “bluejacking” came about as a combination of “Bluetooth” and “hijacking. Bluesnarfing, a more serious threat to security, is also related to bluejacking.
Bluejacking is mostly harmless, although it can be frustrating to people who are not expecting to receive such messages. Since most mobile phones require a confirmation before any received message may be opened and read, bluejackers rarely get to their intended recipients, and are usually deleted without ever being read. These messages can also be intercepted by any other Bluetooth device owner.
Bluejacking has seen its share of recent controversy, with some people claiming that the act of bluejacking is a form of crime, while others claim that it is a harmless prank. The fact remains that bluejacking is not illegal, but it is against the terms of service of most mobile phone companies and could result in the revocation of an account or service agreement.
Bluejacking has also been used by some marketers as a way to try to advertise and promote their products and services. A Bluetooth enabled device near a shop or place of business may receive a advertisement or discount offer as a bluejacking message. This use has given bluejacking a bad reputation, and many people now view it as intrusive and annoying.
Nevertheless, bluejacking can also be fun and informative, as in the case of the game scenario set up by Jack the Bluetooth Ripper, who used bluejacking to send messages asking others to exchange information with him, such as favorite poems, music the user enjoys, or interesting facts.
In conclusion, bluejacking is an interesting phenomenon, and can be both troublesome and entertaining to those who encounter it. While bluejacking is not illegal, it should be done with caution, as it can be seen as intrusive to unsuspecting recipients.