Your link confounds different Bluetooth versions and different attacks.
The TL;DR:

LE Legacy Pairing is broken and has been known to be broken since its
inception. I wrote on it in 2013[1] and released crackle[2] to
demonstrate it.

LE Secure Connections address all the weaknesses of legacy pairing. If
both hosts support LE SC, you are invulnerable to a _passive_ attacker.
Without a display, an _active_ attacker can still MitM you. This is a
much more challenging attack.

Based on my reading of the spec, it's not possible to mandate LE SC even
if both stacks support it. Thus an active attacker can attempt a pairing
downgrade attack to force the use of the weaker legacy pairing. However
in this scenario the attacker can fully MitM the connection, so a
pairing downgrade is basically pointless.

Finally, all of these attacks are only against the pairing phase. Once
two devices have paired and exchanged keys, the runtime
encryption/authentication (based on AES-CCM) is not vulnerable to any


On Thu, Dec 01, 2016 at 11:18:30AM +0000, Tim Hutt wrote:
> See
> Basically its a mess. As far as I can tell, the actual encryption (AES-128
> CCM) is fine, but the key exchange (pairing) methods are all broken in
> various ways. Just Works is vulnerable to MitM by design (a reasonable
> trade-off for the improved usability in some cases). Numeric Comparison is
> actually secure, but it requires Bluetooth 4.2, a screen and "yes/no"
> buttons on both devices which is very often not possible. Passkey Entry
> (i.e. a PIN) is totallly broken. OOB is secure but you can't use it anyway
> because of lack of support on Android and iOS.
> Also note that the 'LE Secure Connections' feature is optional even in
> Bluetooth 4.2. So even if you have a phone or peripheral that supports
> Bluetooth 4.2, it might still use the legacy methods.
> On 30 November 2016 at 17:06, Mike Ryan <> wrote:
> > This is the first I've heard of LE Secure Connections having any
> > weakness. Can you elaborate and/or provide a citation?
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 12:23:06PM +0000, Tim Hutt wrote:
> > > Just in case you weren't aware, OOB is not available on iOS or Android
> > > (except via NFC). Also all BLE pairing methods except OOB and Numeric
> > > Comparison (which requires a screen) are apparently broken in various
> > ways,
> > > even with LE Secure Connections.
> >

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