Skip to main content
Email Print Share

This time-lapse image depicts the spread of a MMS (multimedia messaging system) mobile phone virus.


This time-lapse image depicts the spreading pattern of a MMS (multimedia messaging system) mobile phone virus. Like many computer viruses, MMS viruses spread using the address book of the device. Because the users' address book often contains phone numbers of far away users, transmission of MMS viruses follows a delocalized pattern as shown here. Spread of MMS viruses is much faster than Bluetooth viruses because it is not restricted by human behavioral patterns, however current transmission of these types of viruses is constrained because the number of susceptible devices is small.

Credit: Pu Wang, University of Notre Dame, Physics
Marta C. González, Northeastern University, Physics
César A. Hidalgo, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Albert-László Barabási, Northeastern University, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the Multimedia in the News section of the NSF Multimedia Gallery are not for use by the public without permission from the copyright owner listed in the credit.

Videos credited to the National Science Foundation, an agency of the U.S. Government, may be distributed freely. However, some materials within the videos may be copyrighted. If you would like to use portions of NSF-produced programs in another product, please contact the Video Team in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Related story: Viral Epidemics Poised to Go Mobile