Proximity Breeds Danger: Emerging Threats in Metro-Area Wireless Networks
Source: University of California
The growing popularity of wireless networks and mobile devices is starting to attract unwanted attention especially as potential targets for malicious activities reach critical mass. In this study, the authors try to quantify the threat from large-scale distributed attacks on wireless networks, and, more specifically, wifi-networks in densely populated metropolitan areas. They focus on three likely attack scenarios: "Wildfire" worms that can spread contagiously over and across wireless LANs, coordinated citywide phishing campaigns based on wireless spoofing, and rogue systems for compromising location privacy in a coordinated fashion. The first attack illustrates how dense wifi-deployment may provide opportunities for attackers who want to quickly compromise large numbers of machines.