Feeds

WiFi Alliance pimping Passpoint

Make public hotspots easier to use, bake DRM into kit

Business security measures using SSL

The WiFi Alliance’s Passpoint program is finally set to arrive in devices, with the organization announcing that the first kit certified to use Passpoint will start shipping next month.

The Alliance will also begin certifying hotpsot providers in June.

Passpoint is designed to make public WiFi more easily accessible to users, by eliminating the irritating process of discovery, followed by a hotspot-specific login, required before the roaming user can access a network.

It’s a potential boon for mobile carriers, since today, a user roaming off a 3G network to a WiFi hotspot represents lost revenue.

The initial certifications will cover network discovery and selection, automatic connection based on different credentials – such as SIM-based authentication – and automatic authentication and security using WPA2-Enterprise. During 2013, the organization plans to certify specifications for instant account provisioning, and policy management specific to operators.

The aim, the alliance says, is to roll out Passpoint-certified hotspots that let users connect to public hotspots without having to go through the common browser-based interface. Instead, with certified kit in place – and as long as the hotspot operator and user’s carrier have an agreement in place – a WiFi-enabled smartphone user would be able to connect automatically and have their hotspot usage billed back to a carrier.

Supported EAP security measures will include EAP-TLS (using a trusted root certificate), EAP-SIM (user authenticated by their SIM credentials), EAP Authentication and Key Agreement (EAP-AKA, using the client’s USIM) or using Microsoft’s CHAPv2 (username and password using server-side certificates).

The Alliance says Passpoint will, in particular, make it easier to connect “browserless” devices to public hotspots – so, for example, a WiFi-enabled camera would be able to connect to a public Passpoint-supporting hotspot.

There is, as always, a sting in the tail: Passpoint is also designed to enable DRM over WiFi hotspots – so, according to the WiFi Alliance, that providers can verify the identity and access rights of subscribers so as to deliver them the right content. Oh, and guess what: as Passpoint-certified kit makes its way into homes, it will bring DRM enforcement with it. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.