New Virus Spreads Like The Common Cold – Via WiFi

By | February 27, 2014
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Normally, only rich folks read “Forbes” and I am not one of them. So it was pure serendipity that I happened to stumble upon this “Forbes” article this morning. You knew something like this was coming. There’s always someone out there figuring out a way to ruin a good thing: Wi-Fi is a good thing, right?

This is scary stuff, so if you have pets or small children, please put them in bed before you read this. Oh, yes, and make sure your wireless network is secured. We can’t do much about the restaurants and airports can we? Nope…not yet anyway. Next thing you know they’ll put coin collectors on our computer, like parking meters, and we can buy five minutes of Wi-Fi for $2.50. Chac

New Virus Spreads Like The Common Cold – Via WiFi

It started in the laboratory of a university in England. An airborne virus was cultivated. One that could spread like the common cold in densely populated areas, infecting all it came into contact with. It was called Chameleon – and it was a computer virus.

Chameleon is the product of the University of Liverpool’s School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Electronics and shows for the first time that WiFi networks can be infected with a virus that moves through the air, jumping from access point to access point.

WiFi access points have long been known to be potentially weak spots onto networks, often left unprotected by passwords or encryption, or still using the manufacturer’s or telecoms operator’s default security codes. But up until now, there hasn’t been a virus that could attack a WiFi network.

Chameleon behaves just as a disease would in a viral outbreak, moving faster through cities with dense populations, where access points (and humans) are closer together…

There’s more…read it here.

3 thoughts on “New Virus Spreads Like The Common Cold – Via WiFi

  1. Muriel S

    “Chameleon is the product of the University of Liverpool’s School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Electronics and shows for the first time that WiFi networks can be infected with a virus…….”

    An extremely worthwhile project. Not strange to me at all, that a bunch of students with a worthwhile goal, ethical leadership, and uninfluenced by “some outside personal/corporate agenda” can successfully challenge and prove wrong, the so-called “experts” that are paid highly to “protect” and “advise” us. We’ve got to make sure their talents, upon graduation, are used for the good….and not for
    malicious or illegal purposes. It’s the “challenge” that drives them, I think.
    Let’s hope these kids continue to use their talents for the good. I hope the egoes of the so-called “expert” know-it-alls can be set aside long enough to find a way to harness this fresh, clear-headed, talent for that good.

    “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,” Profesor Alan Marshall explained. “The virus then sought out other WiFi APs that it could connect to and infect.

    Can you define… “credentials” … as it is used here.

    Does it care what AP you might be using?

    How can you tell if you’ve been infected if it doesn’t change how the AP works?

    Once infected, does the infection remain active when you leave that public connection and use that AP again on a “secured” connection?

    Reply
    1. Muriel S

      Mary, if you mean the wireless connection in your home, how it is protected will depend on your router settings. I did a search of InfoAve articles because I remembered an article or two that discussed the issue. Here’s the link to those…
      http://thundercloud.net/infoave/new/?s=Router+security+settings

      The only wireless device I use is my laptop. When I connect to the internet away from home, it’s usually at one of two places and both of them have secured connections which I have been given the ID’s and passwords to. As for security on smartphones, and other handheld internet devices, I don’t know enough to comment on.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply

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