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Wireless Malware Propagation: A Reality Check

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1 Author(s)
Zanero, S. ; Politec. di Milano, Milan, Italy

The paper discusses the data security on wireless communications. In recent years, several authors began to work on the concept of security attacks against wireless communication protocols- in particular, the propagation of malware through them. It was fun to design covert attack devices and evaluate the Bluetooth user population's exposure to them. However, the latest "developments" on these threats are stepping progressively away from reality and into an abstract, academic world of their own, something that might be just as fun, but that should be brought back into perspective when assessing the actual risks related to these scenarios. The author presents two distinct examples, the wireless LAN contagion and Bluetooth epidemics. The author concludes that wireless and mobile security, and, in particular, worm propagation over wireless networks, is an interesting and novel concept. It challenges and thrills, creating appealing newspaper headlines along the way. However, it must be sure to check our models against reality, and after predicting threats that failed to materialize, it must be able to understand where it went wrong.

Published in:

Security & Privacy, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 5 )