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Next: Open vs. Protected Access Up: Wildfire worms Previous: Wifi worm propagation


Presently, the wireless node population consists mostly of laptops, and to a lesser extent of PDAs and smart-phones (including wifi VoIP phones). The mobility patterns of wireless users can affect worm dynamics in three ways. First, mobility could compensate for sparse connectivity that may hinder wildfire-style propagation, as users carry the worm to networks previously unreachable by the worm. This is not restricted to just the places where the user turns on the laptop, as Laptops can also be programmed to wake up periodically as the user moves from one place to another At the same time, user mobility also helps worm propagation into protected networks, whether they use WEP or more secure WPA/WPA2 protection, as the user will voluntarily (and perhaps even automatically) authenticate to those networks. Finally, the worm could create fake access points to lure and infect mobile users.