Kamala Harris shuns AirPods over Bluetooth security risk

Kamala Harris shuns AirPods over Bluetooth security risk

According to a recent report, Vice President Kamala Harris is Bluetooth phobic and shuns AirPods because of the inherent security risk associated with the ubiquitous wireless technology. Harris insists on using wired headphones, according to the report.

Recent administrations have wrestled with high-level access to personal devices and security, according to Bambenek.

The Vice President is in a bubble to prevent espionage. This tension has existed between President Obama and his blackberry and President Trump's access to Twitter. The Vice President is erring on the side of security and that is probably the right approach to take, Bambenek said.


In 2020 an AT&T Cybersecurity blog listed Bluetooth attacker schemes including BlueSnarfing, which filches text messages, contact lists, and photos linked to the unique identifying information on your phone or laptop, and BlueBugging, which uses Bluetooth to establish a backdoor on a victim's phone or laptop, giving a hacker access to sensitive information, and potentially allowing them to spy on your activity.

Security Boulevard, a cybersecurity news website, reported back in 2019 that attendees at the hacker convention DEF CON warned that the problem is chronic with devices like headphones and fitness trackers and that Bluetooth devices seem to have gaping holes just waiting to be hacked. Hank Schless, Senior Manager, Security Solutions at Lookout, a San Francisco, Calif.-based endpoint-to-cloud security company told Fox Business that it was a good practice in the cybersecurity industry to turn off Bluetooth and other NFC Near Field Communication capabilities at events or gatherings where you are surrounded by people you don't know. Attackers will often hide in plain sight and try to ping or connect to devices that have the capabilities enabled vulnerabilities that could allow them to access data stored on the device or take control of it altogether, Schless said.

The average consumer shouldn't fear Bluetooth or stop using it for casual consumption. VP Harris is the exception and not the rule.

Nick Biasini, Head of Outreach for Cisco Talos, said that Bluetooth technology like headphones is perfect for everyday use for 99.9% or more of the users. Biasini said that the question isn't really about the risk factor associated with Bluetooth, but rather about the threat profile.