Bluetooth Security in Tiger

TIGERmac

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2004
81
0
Apple advertises that its Bluetooth keyboard has 128 bit encryption capabilities. In Panther, I had to manually activate this feature (which was a bit of a shocker). Since upgrading to Tiger, I have searched through the (revised) Bluetooth preferences and have found no option to turn on encryption. Furthermore, I cannot seem to locate any documentation that states the default Tiger configuration is encryption turned on.

Does anyone know of a way to determine whether the connection is encrypted?

Many thanks...

TIGERmac
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I think that the relevant setting in Tiger is:

Sys Prefs -> Bluetooth -> Sharing -> Require Pairing for Security

Once devices are paired, I believe they always communicate using encryption.

I don't remember if this was set when I installed Tiger or if I had to click it, though.

EDIT: From the Bluetooth help file:

You can set up Bluetooth to use encryption to secure all transactions between Bluetooth devices. Once you have paired with a Bluetooth device, all transactions between the devices are encrypted.

[...]

With the "Require pairing for security" checkbox selected, devices need to be paired before they can exchange files or use Bluetooth services. Once the devices are paired, they remain paired and will not be required to authenticate again unless the paired device is removed from the Bluetooth Devices list. To delete a device from the list, select it and click Delete.
 

TIGERmac

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2004
81
0
Thanks!

Thanks for the information!

Note to self: Check the help file next time. :D

While we're talking about Bluetooth, does anyone have a problem using rechargeable batteries in their Apple BT mouse? I have a set of Energizer "High Energy" Rechargeable batteries that my BT mouse doesn't like.

The light will blink (as if waiting to be paired) but will not pair. If I click the mouse, the light turns off. The computer responds to the "click" but the cursor will not move. If I replace with regular batteries, it works fine.

Any ideas?
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
Is it just me, or is 128-bit security for a keyboard a little bit absurd? Unless you're doing government work, why would you need this sort of encryption? Even if you needed that security, I hardly think any sort of wireless would be preferable to standard USB (which is 100% secure).
 

TIGERmac

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2004
81
0
crazzyeddie said:
Is it just me, or is 128-bit security for a keyboard a little bit absurd? Unless you're doing government work, why would you need this sort of encryption? Even if you needed that security, I hardly think any sort of wireless would be preferable to standard USB (which is 100% secure).
Perhaps it is a bit strong for the amount of data it actually protects (for most users, simply passwords). Still, why not use the strongest available? It makes me feel safer, anyway.