The Stack Researchers from the Netherlands are working on a communications app so resilient that it can survive communications and power outages, natural disasters, and can self-replicate, mutate and spread virally between clusters of mobile phones, eventually across all mobile OSes. by Martin Anderson
'In the paper Autonomous smartphone apps: self-compilation, mutation, and viral spreading
[PDF], lead Paul Brusee and co-researcher Johan Pouwelse detail the
development of a smart phone tool so resilient that it can compile
itself, enabling a daisy-chained mesh network of smartphones which in
effect act collectively as cell towers – which might themselves either
have been destroyed by earthquakes or other disasters, or else have been
turned off, monitored or interfered with by governments concerned about
'The app replicates within the Android OS at the moment, though future
work is anticipated to enable it to spread as easily between iOS and
Windows phones, since it does not require root access in order to
reproduce, and is not intended to be spread via stores such as Google
Play or other centralised app repositories.
'The act of transmission can involve a complete change of identity when
communicated between Android devices via Android Beam or side-loading.
During the process of replication the app, effectively a polymorphic
computer virus in terms of social behaviour, may transform from a game
to a calculator (see image right for the interface to control these
aspects during transference).'
The app's source is available at GitHub