Malicious software (malware) is one of the largest threats facing the Internet today. In recent years, malware has proliferated into wireless LANs as these networks have grown in popularity and prevalence. Yet the actual effects of malware-related network traffic in open wireless networks has never been examined. In this paper, we provide the first study to quantify the characteristics of malware on wireless LANs. We use data collected from the large wireless LAN deployment at the 67
IETF meeting in San Diego, California as a case study. The measurements in this paper demonstrate that even a single infected host can have a dramatic impact on the performance of a wireless network.
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