DTA fixes COVIDSafe Bluetooth privacy bug – Security

The Electronic Transformation Agency has preset a protection problem with its COVIDSafe get hold of tracing application that uncovered Android machine names about Bluetooth.

The update – its third considering the fact that the resource code for the application was unveiled almost 3 weeks ago – was pushed out on Tuesday to “further improve the security and anonymity of users”.

It introduces “new steps to the Bluetooth get hold of tracing protocol” to remove the visibility of Android devices names, as well as “an more layer of encryption for the digital handshake”. 

The problem was lifted by computer software developer Jim Mussared and cryptographic researcher Eleanor McMurty in their extensive summary of the app’s privacy problems.

Prior to the update, the paid out explained Android cellular phone product names and person-assigned machine names had been transmitted about Bluetooth, allowing for machine re-identification and tracking.

As we keep on to iteratively improve the COVIDSafe application, protecting the privacy of Australian’s is at the forefront of our efforts,” the DTA explained in a assertion.

“We would like to thank users of the neighborhood, like computer software builders and scientists, who have worked with us in addressing these problems.”

The update also introduces a new attribute that “improves accessibility for men and women who use textual content to speech technology” to navigate and use the application.

The DTA explained the” improvements include superior descriptions of fields within just the application, these types of as the age array variety when registering, and superior recognition of back again arrows”.

Other important improvements to COVIDSafe to date include improvements to Bluetooth effectiveness on iOS devices, like when the machine is locked.

This was produced achievable with new code sourced from the the UK’s NHSX get hold of tracing application, which has been developed by the Countrywide Well being Service’s healthtech device.

However, the DTA is but to detail whether or not these improvements have entirely preset the Bluetooth problems that had been confirmed by the company to influence effectiveness on iOS devices

The DTA will also seem to strengthen COVIDSafe bluetooth effectiveness further subsequent the release of the Google and Apple exposure notification software programming interface.

In accordance to the ABC, the DTA and the Division of Well being are presently screening the API to have an understanding of how it can be applied to Australia. 

The DTA explained it would keep on to update the COVIDSafe application primarily based on interior evaluations and opinions from the neighborhood, with the upcoming update slated ot be unveiled sometime in June.

“We are presently performing on the upcoming COVIDSafe update, which will be unveiled in June,” it explained.

Extra than six million Australians have now downloaded and registered for the COVIDSafe application.