Bluetooth Questions and Answers

What kind of encryption will be used for Bluetooth security?

The Bluetooth specification 1.0 describes the link encryption algorithm as a stream cipher using 4 LFSR (linear feedback shift registers). The sum of the width of the LFSRs is 128, and the spec says “the effective key length is selectable between 8 and 128 bits”. This arrangement allows Bluetooth to be used in countries with regulations limiting encryption strength, and “facilitate a future upgrade path for the security without the need for a costly redesign of the algorithms and encryption hardware” according to the Bluetooth specification. Key generation and authentication seems to be using the 8-round SAFER+ encryption algorithm. The information available suggests that Bluetooth security will be adequate for most purposes; but users with higher security requirements will need to employ stronger algorithms to ensure the security of their data.