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back to article Aaah-CHOOO! Brit boffins say WiFi can 'sneeze' malware

While the "head cold" metaphor is a bit laboured, the issue is genuine: a group of researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that WiFi access points are highly efficient at passing around virus infections. Likening the spread of computer viruses over WiFi as akin to the spread of human viruses in the air, the …

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Bronze badge

say it again

bring back the VT100 and paper based notebook And yes, I know the VT100 can be sort of trojanned, but it wont spread. Where is the old geezer icon ?

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Silver badge
Meh

Re: say it again

Problem is, the VT100 doesn't do anything -- it simply passes keystrokes to and echoes output of the mainframe to which it's connected -- a mainframe which can be infected by all sorts of nasties.

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Facepalm

Mainframe infected by nasties ..

@Steve Knox: "a mainframe which can be infected by all sorts of nasties"

Back in the day, 'mainframes` knew the difference between open and run and didn't run code on the stack, when an exception occurred.

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Silver badge

Re: Mainframe infected by nasties ..

If I recall, that was only true if the mainframe ran on Harvard architectures which separated the code and data. Trouble was, Harvard architectures prevented certain useful things such as varying forms of compilation like Just-In-Time and other situations where code and data are one and the same.

Plus that's just one way to pwn a machine. What about Return-Oriented Programming, which cherry-picks existing code instead?

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Re: Mainframe infected by nasties ..

Architectures such as the Control Data 6000/7000/Cyber range used to absolutely rely on code being modifiable. Subroutine calls were implemented by the return jump (RJ) instruction which planted an unconditional jump at the called location to perform the return.

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Bronze badge

Seems too stretched out to me

Given that there are at least 3 known hardware architectures used for routers (MIPS, ARM and the occasional X86 on enterprise-class routers), and given that each router has customizations that make their firmware incompatible with each other and even different revisions of the same model of the router (notice how there are thousands of variants of DD-WRT), how does the virus know which trojaned firmware to load onto which router? I think more APs would be bricked than become seeded with the trojan.

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Silver badge

Re: Seems too stretched out to me

"I think more APs would be bricked than become seeded with the trojan."

It's looking for routers with specific known default user/password and, I assume since the article infers it, those set to allow admin/config remote logins over the wireless side of the network.

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Anonymous Coward

I had an idea similar to this

Tracking a simulated airborne infection using bluetooth as the transmission source. You could also use wifi access points that most phones have.

It would require active participation or slightly illegal science if you found a massive zero day vulnerability that could log how close you came to another persons phone and assume you were infected then playback the map of how people spread the simulated infection.

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