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.