Home » Alerts » The Wi-Fi Virus Chameleon that Spreads like the Flu Infection

Chameleon is a new virus on network that spreads between unsecured or poorly configured Wi-Fi access points just like the common flu spreads between humans. Wi-Fi access points are electronic devices that send and receive Wi-Fi signal. In other words, every time you are using Wi-Fi, your gadget is linked to a Wi-Fi access point referred as wireless router. These devices are often left unsecured or have poor safety in place. Until now, it was thought that it was not possible to compromise this type of weakness. A recent report by a team of professors at the University of Liverpool, but, negates this theory.how-to-add-security-to-a-wifi-network (1)

In a lab setting, the team showed how a computer virus can hop from one Wi-Fi access point to another. They named the virus ‘Chameleon’.

Important Facts about the Computer Virus- Chameleon

  1. The professors confirmed how after attacking a user Wi-Fi router, Chameleon was able to gather data of users who were linked to it. The virus, but, did not have any wrong effect on the functionality of the router.
  2. Like the common flu virus, Chameleon spreads fast in thick populated places that have more access points and are in relation each other. The rate of transmission is faster within routers that are 10-50 meter radius away.
  3. If Chameleon virus comes across an access point that is well secured, it moves to a weaker AP that has low or no safety at all. This implies that wireless routers at public place such as airports restaurants, etc., are quite weak to this virus.

Chameleon starts searching for other unsecure APs it can attack and steal data from.

Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

  1. Protect your Wi-Fi network with Wi-Fi Protected Access that is WPA/WPA2 encryption. Stay away from using weaker encryption methods such as WEP.
  2. Switch OFF the SSID broadcast. This will enclose your network from expert hackers and threats.
  3. Change the pre defined password of your wireless router. Set a strong password that has a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers.
  1. Avoid using unsafe Wi-Fi networks. Even if you use them, avoid accessing banking and e-commerce websites, and websites where you have to log in.
  2. Do not let your device to connect to the Wi-Fi networks automatically. Turn OFF the auto-connect facility.
  3. Turn OFF your wireless router when it is not in use.
  4. Go for the multilayered security software, like Sophos that can manage Internet traffic between your device and Wi-Fi networks linked to it.

You can contact Sophos Technical Support, for any issue regarding installation and configuration of the Antivirus.

The Dangers of Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

  • Access your account’s details like user ID, passwords and other credentials.
  • Take you to a phishing webpage where you might give away your personal data.
  • Record the data of internet traffic accessed on your device or PC. In this way, they can form a data of the websites you mostly explore, and plan attack from these websites.
  • Launch a malware or spam attack on your device.
  • Gain access to your PC, its network and data.
  • Hijack the account you are logged into, and use it for unscrupulous purpose.