Intel will ship its Grantsdale chipset this summer with the wireless features turned off by default in an attempt to prevent the spread of unsecured access points. One of the features of Grantsdale is its integrated access point, which turns an ordinary PC into a gateway for other devices to connect to the network. IT managers already fear those APs will turn into back doors for hackers to wander into an otherwise secured corporate network, analysts say.
If nothing else, the introduction of Grantsdale will focus much-needed attention on wireless security issues. In addition to the access points they've installed themselves, IT managers have already begun to fight the spread of so-called "rogue" access points, such as a worker installing a cheap access point for his or her own convenience. "War driving" mobile PCs have already been able to sniff out wireless communications at major retailers. The Grantsdale chipset is due in late June, sources have said; a complementary chipset for the enthusiast PC market, "Alderwood", also contains the wireless access point technology. But the wireless configuration within Grantsdale will be set up in a way that enforces security provisions upon the user, said Howard High, a spokesman for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Corp.
News source: eWeek