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Toward a Robust Security Paradigm for Bluetooth Low Energy-Based Smart Objects in the Internet-of-Things

Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 10607, Taiwan
Department of Information Management, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 97401, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2348;
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 14 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Sensing Applications)
PDF [3744 KB, uploaded 16 October 2017]


Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has emerged as one of the most promising technologies to enable the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm. In BLE-based IoT applications, e.g., wearables-oriented service applications, the Bluetooth MAC addresses of devices will be swapped for device pairings. The random address technique is adopted to prevent malicious users from tracking the victim’s devices with stationary Bluetooth MAC addresses and accordingly the device privacy can be preserved. However, there exists a tradeoff between privacy and security in the random address technique. That is, when device pairing is launched and one device cannot actually identify another one with addresses, it provides an opportunity for malicious users to break the system security via impersonation attacks. Hence, using random addresses may lead to higher security risks. In this study, we point out the potential risk of using random address technique and then present critical security requirements for BLE-based IoT applications. To fulfill the claimed requirements, we present a privacy-aware mechanism, which is based on elliptic curve cryptography, for secure communication and access-control among BLE-based IoT objects. Moreover, to ensure the security of smartphone application associated with BLE-based IoT objects, we construct a Smart Contract-based Investigation Report Management framework (SCIRM) which enables smartphone application users to obtain security inspection reports of BLE-based applications of interest with smart contracts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bluetooth low energy; internet-of-things; privacy; random address; security Bluetooth low energy; internet-of-things; privacy; random address; security

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cha, S.-C.; Yeh, K.-H.; Chen, J.-F. Toward a Robust Security Paradigm for Bluetooth Low Energy-Based Smart Objects in the Internet-of-Things. Sensors 2017, 17, 2348.

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