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A computer virus that can spread via wi-fi like a "common cold" has been created by researchers in Liverpool.
In densely populated areas with lots of wi-fi networks, the virus can go from network to network finding weaknesses.
Once in control of a wi-fi access point, it leaves computers on the network extremely vulnerable.
The team's lead researcher told the BBC it was working on software to prevent such attacks being possible.
"Rather than rely on people to use strong passwords, you want to integrate intrusion detection systems to the access points," said Alan Marshall, professor of communication networks at the University of Liverpool.
He would not go into detail about the methods in order to prevent the attack being used on real victims but said a proof-of-concept attack had been developed at the university.WiFi Virus Said To Spread Like The "Common Cold" [bbc.co.uk]
Instead of intrusion detection systems, a simple solution would be programming routers not to work (other than to redirect users to a web admin page) until the admin password has been changed AND the admin has either secured the network or confirmed that it is deliberately open.
@BeeDeeDubbleU, but people are not THAT accustomed to law and order. Most people take lots of precautions in most of their lives - they lock doors, they keep credit cards safe, they do not walk down dark alleys in dodgy areas.... They are not willing to do the same online.
From an end user viewpoint a router should be plug and play.