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Wi-Fi Malware Spreads like Common Cold

1 Mar 2014

Security researchers at the University of Liverpool, School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science have developed a proof-of-concept malware – dubbed Chameleon – that is capable of propagating across Wi-Fi networks with the same effectiveness as the common cold.


The researchers conducted tests on simulations of Wi-Fi networks across two large cities in the UK – London and Belfast – and found that Chameleon acted like an airborne virus.


This attack is considered as advanced and difficult to detect. It’s a sign of relieve that the malware was effectively blocked by secure networks, which can be set up easily.


The result of this research highlighted the risks of public Wi-Fi extensively. With more than 130 London underground stations hooked up to public Wi-Fi, and substantial amount of boroughs offering free public Wi-Fi to residents, the impact of such malware outbreak can be catastrophic.

  • SANS NewsBites Volume 16, No. 17.

  • Security researchers warn of airborne WiFi virus that spreads like a cold, Dan Worth. Feb 27, 2014.

  • Researchers create a virus that can spread via WiFi, Michelle Starr. Feb 27, 2014.

  • New Virus Spreads Like The Common Cold – Via WiFi, Brid-Aine Parnell. Feb 26, 2014.

  • Chameleon Virus that Spreads Across WiFi Access Points like Common Cold, Sudhir K. Bansal. Feb 26, 2014.

  • ‘Contagious’ WiFi Virus Created by Liverpool Researchers, Dave Lee. Feb 26, 2014.

  • Detection and analysis of the Chameleon WiFi access point virus, Jonny Miliken, Valerio Selis, and Alan Marshall. EURASIP Journal on Information Security 2013. Oct 17, 2013.










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