I Stumbled upon a news this afternoon based on a computer virus that can spread through Wifi that is effective as a human cold moves through densely populated areas. I was like What ! , if that spread, definitely many computer will be affected by the virus most especially those that use wifi as their internet connection… It doesn’t feel like am free 😉 , You ?
A team of researchers from the University of Liverpool just created such a virus. They call it “Chameleon.” As the name implies, it can hop from network to network without being noticed, targeting wireless networks that are the least protected. Areas that are more crowded are even more susceptible since they allow the virus to spread more easily.
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How It Spreads
The chameleon virus can travel between WiFi networks via Access Points (APs) that connect households and businesses to WiFi networks. It was able to avoid detection and identify the points at which WiFi access is least protected by encryption and passwords, using them to hop between networks. Chameleon was able to avoid detection as current virus detection systems look for viruses that are present on the internet or computers, but Chameleon is only ever present in the WiFi network.
The team said major cities are at risk of attacks from similar systems created by hackers, areas that are more densely populated have more wifi access points in closer proximity to each other, which means the virus can propagate more quickly across networks connectable within a 10-50 metre radius.
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Professor of Network Security at the University, Alan Marshall said: “When Chameleon attacked an AP it didn’t affect how it worked, but was able to collect and report the credentials of all other WiFi users who connected to it”
Relax ! The virus is currently experimental, researchers warn it could be used by hackers to collect and report the passwords of users who connect to infected networks.
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As one of the professor said, WiFi connections are increasingly a target for computer hackers because of well-documented security vulnerabilities, which make it difficult to detect and defend against a virus. And they give an assurance that they are now able to use the data generated from the study to develop a new technique to identify when an attack is likely.
I keep wondering on this virus, but ways that viruses can be spread are limited only to the hackers’ imaginations.