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Lately, whenever I take public transportation my phone is bombarded with bluetooth pairing requests. I have my bluetooth on because I am listening to music with bluetooth headphones, and in Android 8.1 there doesn't seem to be anyway to not broadcast your device name all the time while bluetooth is on.

My question:

Is bluetooth considered safe to have enabled in public spaces?

Why is someone trying to pair to my device? Are they just hoping that I will eventually choose to accept the pairing?

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This thread: Security wise, is it safe to use bluetooth headphones? I think answers your first question pretty well. However, occasionally vulnerabilities sometimes do show up, such as Blueborne:

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/09/bluetooth_vulne.html

which could allow attackers to hit your bluetooth device without you doing anything. Double the problem when you consider that non-smart bluetooth devices may never get updates to patch these sorts of vulnerabilities.

To the second question: It's possible someone sees your device and is mistaking it for theirs, but if the requests keep coming, I would guess it's probably malicious.

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