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[ISN] Stealth wallpaper could keep LANs secure


By Ron Coates 
June 18 2004 

UK defence contractor BAE Systems has developed a stealth wallpaper to
beat electronic eavesdropping on company Wi-Fi and wired LANs.

The company has produced panels using the technology to produce a
screen that will prevent outsiders from listening in on companies'
Wi-Fi traffic but let other radio and mobile phone traffic get

The FSS (Frequency Selective Surface) panels are made in the same way
as printed circuit boards - layers of copper on Kapton polymer - and
used on stealth bombers and fighter jets. They come in two varieties:  
passive, which is effectively permanent, and active, where various
areas can be switched on and off to enlarge or limit the area of the

The panels are 50 to100 microns thick and can be applied to most
surfaces including glass. A company spokesman claimed that they also
helped reduce "noise" in buildings where a number of companies operate
their own separate LANs.

BAE Systems developed the new material with £145,000 of funding from
the Radiocommunications Agency, which is now part of Ofcom. BAE says
the material is cheap and it will be developing it commercially
through BAE's corporate venture subsidiary.

There is no timescale for its commercial availability.

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