It sounds like something out of science fiction, but scientists have come up with a new way to make your computer sick.
Dubbed the "Chameleon", this computer virus can spread just like the common cold, jumping from computer to computer through wi-fi connections, Scienceblog.com reported.
As people connect to these networks, the virus jumps from the infected computer much like an airborne virus would be passed on by humans.
According to the scientists at the University of Liverpool, "Chameleon" would be able to seek out the least protected networks like public accessible wi-fi.
Because it was on the wi-fi network, and not on an individual computer, it was able to go on infecting undetected by anti-virus software.
Alan Marshall, Professor of Network Security at the University, said: “When “Chameleon” attacked an AP (Access Point) it didn’t affect how it worked, but was able to collect and report the credentials of all other WiFi users who connected to it. The virus then sought out other WiFi APs that it could connect to and infect.”
“WiFi connections are increasingly a target for computer hackers because of well-documented security vulnerabilities, which make it difficult to detect and defend against a virus.
“It was assumed, however, that it wasn’t possible to develop a virus that could attack WiFi networks but we demonstrated that this is possible and that it can spread quickly. We are now able to use the data generated from this study to develop a new technique to identify when an attack is likely.”