Virus made by University researchers spreads over WiFi

The researchers at the University of Liverpool have created a new virus called ‘Chameleon’, that can spread like common cold, over WiFi networks. The researchers have created, what they say, is the first computer virus that spreads over WiFi networks, as a proof-of-concept measure.

This study allows professionals working on software to guard against future attacks similar to this that  are potentially threatening. The virus has been found to be effective in jumping from one wireless hotspot to another, in a large network spread over a dense population. Finding a weakness, the virus gains control by hacking the password of an access point, often found unchanged as the default setting. The virus was successfully blocked by enhanced security measures used by businesses, but could be a threat to public WiFi and home users.

Professor at the university and Lead Researcher, Alan Marshall, observed that WiFi connections can be a vulnerable target for hackers. The team simulated an attack and were able to use data from the study to develop a technique to identify a likely attack. They found that current anti-virus software looked for viruses on computers and internet, but the ‘Chameleon’ remained on the WiFi network. Although a little tricky, protecting a user device over public WiFi can be done, it was concluded.

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