Last week we saw Google facing legal tangles for “accidental interception” of WiFi signals and this week it was Apple facing “mysterious disappearance” of WiFi signals during iPhone-4 demo at WWDC keynote. So “what’s going on”, does WiFi not like us any more? Well, because these things struck Eric and Steve, we got to hear about them, but in fact they strike Tom, Dick and Harry everyday.
While speculations are raging on what actually happened to WiFi during iPhone 4 demo, technical fact is that WiFi is susceptible to routine performance degradations due to the very nature of 802.11 protocol which runs WiFi. WiFi operates in unlicensed frequency band and you cannot keep people out of your airspace. They will come gate crashing into your airspace (ouch, actually there aren’t even gates for WiFi airspace!) and cause performance hit on your WiFi applications.
And the insidious angle cannot be ruled out as well. Though I do not want to create conspiracy theories here, technically it is child’s play to launch DoS attack on your WiFi airspace without having to enter your premises. WiFi DoS attack tools are freely distributed on the Internet.
So do we surrender to WiFi chaos? Of course not, since there are early warning systems available. The dominant among them is wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS), which can continuously monitor your airspace for security and performance problems, and give early warning on undesirable wireless activity so that your WiFi applications can be safe and sound all the time.