November 06, 2015

"...create on-the-fly mesh networks in the event of an infrastructural disaster, or the enabling of internet kill switches by oppressive regimes"

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 civilian aggregation.

'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

No comments: