2005 INTERNATIONAL CES, LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2005 Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets, today announced JumpStart for Wireless(TM), the easiest way for consumers and SOHO users to install, configure and secure a wireless network. With JumpStart, users can set up full WLAN security for a new network in just three mouse clicks, while providing the industry’s highest level of personal wireless security, from device authentication to encryption.
“Unsecured wireless networks are one of the fastest growing exposures in homes today because enabling security is simply too difficult for most homeowners,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group. “Because the potential for these wireless exposures includes identity theft and the loss of critical personal information, the wireless industry must step up and mitigate this exposure. With JumpStart for Wireless, Atheros is stepping up to the ease of use requirement and helping to address this critical security need.”
“Concerns about security still keep some consumers from buying wireless LAN equipment,” said Craig Barratt, president and chief executive officer of Atheros Communications. “That’s a shame because good security is not difficult to achieve using today’s standard protocols. The only difficult aspect of security is setting it up, and JumpStart eliminates that difficulty. As more devices connect to the home wireless network, easy product installation and security setup are imperative for consumers, especially wireless LAN novices.”
Wireless LAN technology is now pushing beyond traditional data networking devices and into products such as wireless-enabled printers, media routers, TVs and other personal media devices. JumpStart security protects these devices and will make it easy for a consumer to add them to home networks, even though many such products lack a display or direct user interface (“headless” devices).
JumpStart security coverage
JumpStart features four layers of protection with a security step at virtually every point in the authentication and configuration process to eliminate potential security vulnerabilities. From the user’s point of view, this sophisticated configuration process involves only a few mouse clicks and other simple actions that are a seamless part of device installation.
At the most basic layer of the JumpStart security configuration process, the user visually authenticates the wireless network connection by observing a flashing LED on the wireless access point or broadband router. This authentication assures that some other (rogue) access point cannot hijack the wireless connection. Next JumpStart creates an encryption key using the Diffie-Hellman protocol, which has long been at the heart of highly secure web-based e-commerce facilities such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Additionally, JumpStart self-negotiates to the highest security capability of each device in the network and provides support for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) automatically. Finally, the user creates a password to provide secure network access for configuring and adding new devices in the wireless network.
Other wireless security offerings even recent ones from major vendors leave users vulnerable to attack. JumpStart is the only solution available with four layers of security based on industry standards. It is the only solution designed to assure compatibility with devices based on wireless chipsets that use different configuration and security features. Specifically, JumpStart supports Microsoft Wireless Zero Configuration and Windows Connect Now profile management tools. Similarly, JumpStart will enable transparent interoperability with a complete range of clients, including Intel Centrino.
To ensure interoperability and ease of use, Atheros implemented JumpStart in close collaboration with systems-level customers. D-Link Systems, Inc. was particularly instrumental in assisting with refinement of the JumpStart implementation, and D-Link is the first Atheros customer to introduce a new product that features the JumpStart for Wireless technology. The JumpStart software is easy to integrate into a variety of home and SOHO products by PC OEMs, retail card and access-point vendors, and consumer electronics manufacturers.
JumpStart is supported in all of Atheros’ WLAN chipsets, from the AR5001 through AR5006 families.
About Atheros Communications, Inc.
Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless communications products. Atheros combines its wireless systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufacturable on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is being used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer and networking equipment manufacturers. For more information, visit www.atheros.com or send email to email@example.com.