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Now that smart phones can interact with computers through numerous interface technologies such as Bluetooth, infrared, or the 802.11 family of IEEE specifications, they are working in an environment where malware can propagate. While many studies have modeled malware proliferation, little has been done to take into account the different types of devices that may exist in an ad hoc wireless network. We have therefore developed two novel models that consider diversity of entity as well as interactions between different classes of network items to see how those features affect the spread of a disease. Our models, based on a 4-compartment epidemic method, also have taken into consideration various states that a device may undergo when it gets infected by the malware. We propose these analytical models as an aid to understanding the spread of malware through a network. A huge result space is producible by our framework thus makes it appropriate to describe many viral proliferating scenarios. In addition, we have developed a formula to calculate the possible average number of newly infected devices in the considered system. An important contribution of our work is the comprehension of item diversity, which has influence on the viral propagation. We have found that more types of network item cause a higher risk that malware spreads wider.
Date of Conference: 15-19 June 2009