Security over WIFI

It is now possible to create a computer virus that infects as surreptitiously and indiscriminately as the common cold. As threats to technology grow increasingly sophisticated, so do Slice's solutions.

Going Viral

It’s been a miserable winter. The polar vortex led to a number of snowstorms and according to Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s cutest bearer of bad news, there is more cold weather to come. Taking a cue from groundhog, Phil, people have been holing up indoors, breathing uncirculated air, and spreading viruses. While the threat of biological viruses will lessen when the weather warms, the threat of computer viruses will not.

Attacks on computers are nothing new and PC viruses have existed since the dawn of the personal computer. In the late 1980’s, the PC’s increasing prevalence in homes, in businesses, and on college campuses, combined with the popularity of downloadable games and the widespread use of floppy disks, contributed to a multitude of PC virus pandemics.

In the decades since, the PC has grown integral to the functioning of society and the viruses that threaten it frighteningly sophisticated. Viruses spread from one PC to the next via instant messages, email attachments, and Internet downloads. They can wreak havoc, corrupting or deleting data on the infected PC before spreading to others. Some even delete everything on the hard disk.

Chameleon and Its Terrifying Implications

A recent discovery made by researchers from the University of Liverpool suggests that future viruses will not be as easy to avoid as resisting downloading a file or refusing to open a suspicious looking email. The researchers created a fake computer virus they dubbed “Chameleon.” They designed Chameleon to sit within the access point of a WIFI network, an area notoriously vulnerable to attack as mainstream antivirus programs sit on endpoint devices such as laptops, tablets, and PCs and scan for viruses on the Internet or within the device, neglecting the network. Like its reptilian namesake, Chameleon can jump from network to network undetected, infecting every computer on a particular WIFI system. Eerily similar to biological viruses that most readily spread indoors, Chameleon hangs in the air awaiting its next victim, making devices in large deployment areas especially susceptible.

Chameleon is a simulation, but its potential for replication does not bode well for the future of computer security. The experiment has proven the prospect of hackers committing the technological equivalent of germ warfare on a mass scale entirely possible. In the event of an attack, densely populated cities would be hit the hardest. Peoples’ identities could be stolen and the technology personal and professional life revolves around corrupted and rendered useless, resulting in unfathomably devastating financial repercussions. This threat of a virus that attacks WIFI networks looms in the air like Chameleon itself.

SLICE WIFI to the Rescue

In our decades of providing managed services, Slice has protected our clients from IT related threats of every degree. This amount of experience has led us to anticipate and develop defenses against threats to come. Before media coverage of the Chameleon experiment sparked a global conversation about wireless network security, Slice had designed SLICE WIFI to detect infected devices as their information travels through the gateway. SLICE WIFI prevents infected machines from spreading viruses to others by throttling their speed or altogether barring them from the network. Like vitamin C for technology, Slice boosts our clients’ immunity to viruses.

By: Alannah Dragonetti

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