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In the last few years, the growing popularity of mobile devices has made them attractive to virus and worm writers. One communication channel often exploited by mobile malware is the Bluetooth interface. In this paper, we present a detailed analytical model that characterizes the propagation dynamics of Bluetooth worms. Our model captures not only the behavior of the Bluetooth protocol but also the impact of mobility patterns on the Bluetooth worm propagation. Validation experiments against a detailed discrete-event Bluetooth worm simulator reveal that our model predicts the propagation dynamics of Bluetooth worms with high accuracy. We further use our model to efficiently predict the propagation curve of Bluetooth worms in big cities such as Los Angeles. Our model not only sheds light on the propagation dynamics of Bluetooth worms, but also allows to predict spreading curves of Bluetooth worm propagation in large areas without the high computational cost of discrete-event simulation.
Date of Publication: March 2009