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Bluetooth

Kind of a big deal

Bluetooth

I notice that more and more "smart" devices, such as Samsung 4K TVs and streaming audio devices use Bluetooth.

 

The controller lists Bluetooth clients, and shows how long they have been associated, but does not show traffic volumes. Can we fix this shortcoming.

 

Also, there is a dearth of hard information about Bluetooth TX power, coverage patterns etc, can we have more information here. Plus any encryption standards adhered to, out-of-the-box.

 

I would suggest that everybody checks on Bluetooth client access, I expect more than a few to be surprised. 😎☠️

 

 

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
12 REPLIES 12
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

Afaik they don't actually "connect" via bluetooth. It's just that the AP can see them. They don't actually transfer traffic over bluetooth.

 

Unless I'm sorely mistaken.

Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

@BrechtSchamp 

 

Based on my initial check of what the Samsung Smart 4K TV does, it has the option to connect to peripherals and the internet using Bluetooth (like a card machine). I can see it connected as a client, but I can't see the traffic. Why connect for no purpose?

 

My local A/V equipment is hard wired, so does not use WiFi or Bluetooth. However, I checked the Audio system and it has the option to connect using Bluetooth as opposed to WiFi or Wired.

 

So perhaps something undesirable is going on? Being able to see the traffic would be helpful, before I chop them off at the knees, or higher.

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
Meraki Employee

Re: Bluetooth

As mentioned by  BrechtSchamp our Bluetooth is just for scanning and gathering details of users around the AP. This is to provide location analytics.

We do not transfer any actual user data using the bluetooth interface.

 

Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth


@Mahi_Meraki_guy wrote:

As mentioned by  BrechtSchamp our Bluetooth is just for scanning and gathering details of users around the AP. This is to provide location analytics.

We do not transfer any actual user data using the bluetooth interface.

 


So I would expect to see connected Bluetooth devices listed under location analytics. But nothing helpful is listed.

I do have the following Daily Averages -

Capture rate               8%

Visit Length            468 min

Repeat Visitor Rate 94%

 

So something is going on - two of the devices have been continuously connected for over a week. What are they doing?

 

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

What you're seeing is that the access points "see" that device. It's not really "connected". Whe you click on the client you'll see it more literally mentioned too:

image.png

 

There's also no way to "chop them off" as it's not really a connection. You can disable BLE on the AP (Wireless > Bluetooth Settings) and bluetooth on the TV though.

 

BLE really is meant as a tool to broadcast virtual beacons to nearby bluetooth devices (for example for indoor wayfinding) or localizing so-called bluetooth tags and devices. It's not meant for actual communication.

Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

@BrechtSchamp 

 

To be honest, you have raised more questions . . .

 

Why would Meraki report the devices as "connected", when they are not connected?

 

I have had similar problems with Zigbee (supplied by the French talking to PRC and Israel).

 

As it happens, I do have an application to use Bluetooth in place of WiFI. Based on what you have said, Meraki APs are not going to be able to handle that?

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

I haven't found many mentions of the "connected" wording. It's mentioned in the column header as "Connectivity". That's probably due to poor wording (to be honest, it's likely they copy pasted code from the Wireless > Access Points page, that has the exact same column).

 

I'm afraid the APs are not going to be able to do that. Bluetooth networks are limited to 8 devices too if I remember correctly so it wouldn't really scale well anyway. It's really only meant for device to device communication. An example use case would be internet-sharing (bluetooth tethering).

Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

Hmmm, the API lets us access devices via WiFi or BLE. Meraki Location – Updated Node-RED CMX/Scanning node! 

 

Is it possible that there is some "missing" documentation? (BLE is getting really popular in IoT).

 

null-139[1].png

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

Yeah the scanning API let's you determine positions of devices based on where they were seen and with what strength. But both ways don't actually require a connection to the network. It's just the AP's seeing probe requests and beacon frames and reporting about those to the API endpoint.

 

More info about it here:

https://developer.cisco.com/meraki/scanning-api/

 

Node-RED stuff at the bottom left.

Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

So why would we be sending IP addresses and login secrets to/from a BLE device? This must be undocumented.

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

You're not. The secret is just a way in which the consuming web-service authenticates to the Meraki cloud so that the Meraki dashboard knows it can send the "sensitive" data to it.

 

The procedure is explained in the link I mentioned. But here's an image of it:

image.png

Highlighted
Kind of a big deal

Re: Bluetooth

So why would Meraki ignore IoT, and all the TVs and Sound systems that use BLE, as well as integrating with payment machines. They must have been shouted down by the barking dog.Ruckus Dog.png

Robin St.Clair | Principal, Caithness Analytics | @uberseehandel
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