UK scientists roll out Wi-Fi proof wallpaper

Paper over the crackers


British boffins have developed wallpaper that blocks Wi-Fi traffic but still allows other wireless transmissions to pass through in a bid to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data via the WLAN.

Developed by UK defence company BAE Systems, the wallpaper uses Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) sheeting, a material more commonly found slapped on military aircraft, naval vessels and radar antennae, New Scientist reports.

In this case, the FSS material is manufactured to absorb signals in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands used by 802.11a, b and g equipment. Other frequencies, such as the 1800MHz band used by GSM networks, are not blocked.

FSS wallpaper isn't the only way of blocking electromagnetic transmissions, but it is the only solution that doesn't hinder every form of wireless communication. Firms employing the technology will still need to replace their windows with radio-absorbing glass.

By blocking WLAN coverage outside the building, BAE believes the wallpaper will prevent tapping into the network, particularly if the WLAN is left unsecured in order to provide guest access to a company's network. ®

Related stories

Michigan wardrivers await sentencing
Wi-Fi 'sniper rifle' debuts at DEFCON
iPass touts network access policy devolution
Wi-Fi Alliance acts on dodgy wireless kit
Wi-Fi hopper guilty of cyber-extortion
The Wi-Fi explosion: a virus writer's dream
US wardriver pleads guilty to Wi-Fi hacks

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

    Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December

    Engineers have finished pumping the James Webb Space Telescope with fuel, and are now preparing to carefully place the folded instrument inside the top of a rocket, expected to blast off later this month.

    “Propellant tanks were filled separately with 79.5 [liters] of dinitrogen tetroxide oxidiser and 159 [liters of] hydrazine,” the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday. “Oxidiser improves the burn efficiency of the hydrazine fuel.” The fuelling process took ten days and finished on 3 December.

    All eyes are on the JWST as it enters the last leg of its journey to space; astronomers have been waiting for this moment since development for the world’s largest space telescope began in 1996.

    Continue reading
  • China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

    Home-baked silicon is the way forward

    China is gut punching Moore's Law and the roughly one-year cadence for major chip releases adopted by the Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others.

    The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is developing open-source RISC-V performance processor, says it will release major design upgrades every six months. CAS is hoping that the accelerated release of chip designs will build up momentum and support for its open-source project.

    RISC-V is based on an open-source instruction architecture, and is royalty free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

    Continue reading
  • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

    Tens of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses were at risk, lawsuit claims

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

    Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

    “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021