[ISN] US company offers Wi-Fi-proof paint

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2007 - 22:33:16 PST


By Lewis Page
23rd March 2007

An American company says it has successfully tested wireless-blocking 
paint. EM-SEC Technologies, in a release last week, said its "Coating 
Solution", applied to a test facility, had successfully protected 
"wireless devices and other electronic equipment".

According to the company, "a one-time application of the coating creates 
an 'electromagnetic fortress' by preventing airborne hackers from 
intercepting signals".

EM-SEC reckon this would be useful for corporate offices, boardrooms, 
server and computer rooms, and R&D labs. It seems that wireless nets can 
be operated without trouble inside a painted building or room.

This latest launch by EM-SEC is an attempt to move into corporate 
security. Previously, the company has dealt more with government and 
military customers, earning some impressive validations. Its website 
claims that the coatings have been checked out by various groups 
including Sandia Labs and the Naval Surface Warfare Centre Crane 
Division (NSW-Crane develops and tests technology for the 
terribly-secret-yet-famous Navy SEAL special forces).

Perhaps even more significantly, the RF-proof paint is approved as a 
TEMPEST countermeasure by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Before 
wardrivers and Wi-Fi were ever heard of, security types were warning 
about TEMPEST vulns, where attackers sniff the emissions from kit which 
isn't even meant to communicate wirelessly. Depending on competence, 
equipment, and proximity TEMPEST attackers can supposedly lift info 
directly from unshielded electronics.

Of course, most black hats in the commercial world aren't in this 
league, and indeed it could be said that many corporate Wi-Fi users 
might do better to enable their built-in encryption than redecorate the 
office with radio-proof paint. Especially if they want to use their 
mobile phones, or look out of the window now and then.

Still, products like this seem bound to find a wide market. Cinemas or 
theatres might use such tech to cut off mobile phones, avoiding the 
legal issues around jamming.

Famous Wi-Fi-allergic latin teacher Michael Bevington might wish to 
paint his house or classroom with EM-SEC paint. Mobile mast antis could 
buy the product for use at home.

And, if EM-SEC could develop a body-paint version of the technology, 
they would no doubt have the tinfoil-hat tendency queuing round the 
block. Although they could face stiff competition in this latter arena 
from Clarins, which already markets an allegedly electromagnetism-proof 
anti-ageing cream. Clarins lacks the crucial NSA and Navy-SEAL 
endorsements, however, choosing instead to partner with ladies-smellies 
and designer togs purveyor Thierry Mugler.

One does note that EM-SEC already has RF-proof fabric at its disposal in 
addition to paint, offering a range of nifty laptop bags, phone 
holsters, etc. Could a collection of stylish headgear for the 
tinfoil-clad be on the cards?

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