Defending Mobile Phones From Proximity Malware

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Executive Summary

As mobile phones increasingly become the target of propagating malware, their use of direct pair-wise communication mechanisms, such as Bluetooth and WiFi, pose considerable challenges to malware detection and mitigation. Unlike malware that propagates using the network, where the provider can employ centralized defenses, proximity malware can propagate in an entirely distributed fashion. This paper considers the dynamics of mobile phone malware that propagates by proximity contact, and it evaluate potential defenses against it. Defending against proximity malware is particularly challenging since it is difficult to piece together global dynamics from just pair-wise device interactions.

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