Bluetooth Worms: Models, Dynamics, and Defense Implications
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Recent occurrences of mobile phone worms like Cabir, Mabir and
CommWarrior have created growing concerns over the security of data
stored on mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs. The fact that they use Bluetooth communication as their infection channel is a basic similarity between them. the nature, characteristics, and
spreading dynamics of Bluetooth worms are studied in simulation to aid protection. Some major findings sre:
capacity constraints imposed by the wireless channel
,for example, interference and the Bluetooth protocol can
significantly slow down the Bluetooth worm propagation
2)Mobility may not boost the
Bluetooth worm propagation, but the link instability brought about by it has
negative impact on the worm spreading speed
3)Dexterously designed worms can improve their propagation speed by strategically selecting worm model parameters or exploiting out-of-band propagation capabilities.
the Bluetooth protocol design and im-
plementation is large and complex. a large-scale Blue-
tooth worm outbreak is viable today. Studies shows that start-
ing a Bluetooth worm infection is easy, once a vulnerability is dis-
covered. Bluetooth worms can infect a large population of vulnerable devices relatively
quickly, in just a few days.
Bluetooth is complex: its current Linux implementation consists
of over 25K lines of kernel code. Because Bluetoothâ„¢s codebase is
large, bugs are likely to be present in current implemen-
tations. As of now,no large-scale Bluetooth security attacks have been reported,but
a worm propagating over the Bluetooth protocol could cause mas-
sive disruptions with serious consequences. A malicious program
could launch a DoS attack and bring down a segment of the cellular
network. Cell-phone spyware could collect personal information. Cell-phone spyware could collect personal information.
BLUETOOTH WORMS ARE
DIFFERENT THAN OTHER WORMS
The Bluetooth worms infect mobile, power-constrained devices
with Bluetooth radios. A Bluetooth infection occurs only when the
infection source and the victim are located near each other, as
Unlike Internet worms, Bluetooth wormsâ„¢ propagation is driven by
how the vulnerable devices interact, move, and travel.
FEASIBILITY OF A BLUETOOTH
If discoverable Bluetooth
devices are prevalent, a worm can ?nd and infect many devices,
once released. A heterogeneous population is more resistant to a worm exploiting a single
software vulnerability. Even if a worm outbreak occurs, short inter-device contacts could slow the
wormâ„¢s infection rate. The relative speed between
two people walking could be too high for a worm to replicate.
The following facts from studies give a good chance of propagation of bluetooth worms in present environment:
-Discoverable Bluetooth Devices are
-The Population of Devices
- Contact Durations are Long Enough for a
Worm to Replicate
-Worms can Replicate between Devices
Moving in Opposite Directions
SIMULATING BLUETOOTH WORM
In the simulation, parameters such as the number
of initial devices infected (i.e., the number of seeds), the total size
of the device population, the fraction of vulnerable devices, and the
time of the day when infections occur are monitored. To
simulate how a worm spreads worldwide, a trace needs to capture
the behavior of many devices at a global scale.
Bluetooth Worm Infection Dynamics
how quickly a worm infects vul-
nerable nodes in a population of 10,000 devices is examined.The worm starts spreading from the infected devices, i.e., seeds. We ?nd that a Bluetooth worm in-
fects half of the devices in four hours when the entire device pop-
ulation is vulnerable. When only 25% of devices are vulnerable,
half of them are infected in sixteen hours. that a worm slows-down during nighttime, but speeds up infections the following day.
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