David Zax on new technology to be a part of Intel’s, soon-to-be-doomed, ultrabook initiative:

Basically, it lets a device automatically join a free Wi-Fi network, even if that network typically requires some sort of manual input to join. It achieves this feat by sending a specially-formatted DNS query that can worm its way past any Wi-Fi router that’s not hyper-fortified. The query then heads to Devicescape’s servers, bearing details of the Wi-Fi point; then Devicescape’s servers send back tailored instructions on how to gain access to that Wi-Fi point. Devicescape’s software on your device is then able to link you–automatically.

The article goes on to make it sound like the WiFi access points have to opt-in to the service, but there’s a lot of potential for — well — things to go badly. For example, what’s to stop a hacker from registering his WiFi hotspot and skimming all your data when you connect — since the connection can be made while the laptop is still in your bag?

This entire idea makes me very uncomfortable.

Posted by Ben Brooks