The Inquirer-Home

Broadcom, HP close wi-fi security hole

CES 2005
Sun Jan 09 2005, 17:57
ONE OF the biggest hassles of Wi-Fi is security. Most users leave the systems wide open and never bother to secure their network. Broadcom, HP, and Linksys have just announced a new technology that may revolutionise Wi-Fi installation and security.

All three companies have collaborated to promote a new technology called SecureEasySetup, which enables consumers to effortlessly and seamlessly setup their wireless networks and activate Wi-Fi Protected Access security by simply pushing a button. Both Linksys and HP plan to offer the first Wi-Fi products with the new push-button solution utilizing Broadcom chipsets.

SecureEasySetup dramatically simplifies installation by automating the processes of configuring new wireless networks and adding devices to existing networks. After a user pushes the SecureEasySetup button on their Linksys router and wireless device, SecureEasySetup establishes a private connection between the devices and automatically configures the network's Service Set Identifier (SSID) while enabling WPA security.

SecureEasySetup not only addresses the challenges of network set-up, but also makes it easier than ever to protect a Wi-Fi network from unauthorized use. The push-button configuration makes Wi-Fi practical for a variety of new platforms and devices. Manual Wi-Fi installation requires the use of a keyboard and/or display, making it difficult to configure non-PC devices for those who are not experienced. The SecureEasySetup push-button eliminates the need for a user interface, enabling manufacturers to embed high-performance Wi-Fi capabilities into even more products, including consumer electronics without screens or keypads.

Broadcom was showing a working demonstration of this technology at CES, and said that products supporting the technology should be shipping shortly. Officially, SecureEasySetup will appear in Linksys wireless LAN products in Q1 2005, and will be supported on select HP notebook and desktop PCs and in future networked printers from HP. The feature is also expected to be integrated into future generations of peripheral devices and consumer electronics.


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