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Fixed PIN pairing on Bluegiga BLE112 Bluetooth module

31. August 2015 11:30 by Jens Willy Johannsen
Categories: General

I needed to make a Bluetooth LE device that required a more secure pairing with the companion iOS app than just "Click Pair to connect…".

This can easily be implemented in BTLE using a bonded, encrypted connection with man-in-the-middle protection enabled. But the device needs either a display to show the code which should be entered on the iOS device, or a keypad to enter the code shown on the iOS device. If the device has neither, then only the "Just works" method can be used. And this will not prompt for a passkey/PIN code.

"But can't I just hardcode a PIN code in the firmware," I asked Google. And Google said, "No, fixed-passkey authentication is not supported in Bluetooth LE."

But it turns out that there is a solution: pretend the BTLE device has a display and specify a hardcoded passkey in the config.xml file. That way, instead of generating a random key to display to the user, the hardcoded passkey will be generated instead.

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