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
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