• United States
by Network World Fusion Staff

Cometa, iPass to build 20,000 hot spots, plus other news

Mar 13, 20033 mins
HotspotsMobileNetwork Security

* Mobile news from Cometa and iPass, Nokia and Panasonic

Editor’s note: Keith is traveling this week but he will be back in your in-box next week with your feedback to his recent newsletter about free wireless LAN phone calls. Until then, we bring you some breaking mobile news from within the Web pages of Network World Fusion.

*Cometa partners with iPass for WLAN hot spot access

Cometa Networks has signed its first partner in an ambitious plan to set up a network of 20,000 public access wireless LAN hot spots in the next two years.

As Cometa begins building the first of these IEEE 802.11, or Wi-Fi, sites later this year, iPass will include access from the locations as part of its Global Broadband Roaming Service for enterprise users. As iPass customers automatically update the iPass client software on their laptops, the update will incorporate the Cometa hot spot locations.

Cometa was launched in December as a start-up company by AT&T Wireless, IBM and Intel, to create a nationwide net of wireless access points.

For more information about Cometa, go to: 

For locations of iPass access points go to:

*Nokia phones vulnerable to DoS attack

It appears that denial-of-service attacks are not only problems for computer networks but mobile phone networks too. According to an advisory ( posted by security company @stake, Nokia 6210 cell phones are vulnerable to such attacks.

The vulnerability exists in code that handles the processing of vCards, virtual business cards that can be transmitted from one cell phone user to another using Short Message Service (SMS), according to @stake. A statement by Nokia posted in response to the advisory confirmed that the 6210 phones running software Version 05.27 or higher are affected.

VCards are commonly used to transmit contact information from one user to the next. Depending on the phone models used, they can be transmitted using either infrared or SMS, though the vulnerability discovered by @stake did not affect infrared transmission, according to Ollie Whitehouse, director of security architecture at @stake and author of the advisory.

 *Panasonic to debut Centrino-based rugged Tablet PC

Matsushita Electric, better known by its Panasonic brand name, is adding to its Toughbook line of rugged computers with a Tablet PC model based on Intel’s yet-to-be launched Centrino package.

The Centrino product combines a Pentium-M processor with companion chipset and wireless LAN support.

The Toughbook CF18 will be launched in mid March and is based on a 900 MHz version of the new Pentium-M ultralow voltage processor, which was previously known by the Intel codename Banias. Like some other Tablet PCs, the CF18 features a display that can be swiveled around and folded down face-out. This means it can be used as a conventional notebook computer or as a slab-type tablet computer.