As if we don’t already have enough “regular” viruses to worry about, a research team from Indiana University suggests that a specially designed computer virus made to attack and propagate on unsecured WiFi routers could easily infect entire cities.
While the risk is apparently only theoretical at the moment, the potential for trouble is a function of the rapid uptake in wireless technology; there are enough open routers about nowadays that the theoretical bug could hop all across town unimpeded. [Image by kludgebox]
People tend to forget that routers are just little computers, but you can bet the malware industry is well aware of it. That said, I can’t really see the commercial potential of such a virus* – and if it can’t be used to make money, surely it would be a four-week proof-of-concept fad for script kiddies at worst?
[* The inevitable disclaimer here is that I’m not a computer security expert by any stretch of the imagination – if you can explain in more detail, please do so in the comments.]