Wi-Fi Warping Wallpaper Keeps Hackers Out

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If you're concerned about hackers snooping on your home Wi-Fi network, the solution may be just a simple high-tech home decorating tip away.

French researchers have developed a revolutionary wallpaper that prevents Wi-Fi waves from leaving the confines of the room, thus keeping your home network safe from outside intrusions, the French website L'Informaticien reported.

The wallpaper is covered with a geometric overlay consisting of ink containing silver particles that filter out three different electromagnetic frequencies of a wireless local area network (LAN) while still letting in cellphone signals.

"A wireless network is provided with protections that can be cracked by the crafty," Pierre Lemaitre-Auger, a researcher at the Grenoble Institute of Technology, explained. "If you put wallpaper on the walls around an office or apartment, your Wi-Fi works well but it cannot be hacked."

It sounds simple, but the wallpaper could be an effective measure against attackers who deploy an array of tactics, from wardriving cars to Wi-Fi-sniffing drones, to crack people's unprotected home networks.

The paper was developed by a four-person team from the Grenoble school and the Centre Technique du Papier, and is scheduled to go on sale in 2013.

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  • NotParanoid Says:

    Why not use it to make paper hats so the government can't read your brain waves? It certainly would be more stylish than the aluminum foil hat I currently wear.

  • Wired Says:

    Why not just setup a Honey Pot so the hackers can work on trying to crack those instead. They won't have a clue which is yours. :)

  • crypt Says:

    Sounds like the brainchild of a certain "interdepartmental agency affiliated with the Dept of Defense". I guess data center copper shielding has gotten too expensive and obvious for embassies and hideouts... I'm ok with that. Hey, somethings are better kept secret

  • Yoda Says:

    This is nothing more than a stylish Farraday Cage. The french didn't invent anything here other than the color of the paper used as a structure to hold the emitter (energized copper fibers). DUH!

  • Loring Says:

    So basically what engineers call a Faraday cage. Probably your cell phone won't work either - what keeps signals in will also keep signals out.

  • Hamid Says:

    T Says:
    What kind of dangerous waves? X-rays, Gamma rays, UV rays ....

    I would like to identify and block them.

  • King Artair Says:

    Paranoia will destroy ya!

  • Virginia Says:

    My problem is that I rent, and can't do anything to the apartment without permission from the owners, and having asked, have been told noway

    But, surprise, they're going to buy and install this wallpaper for the rental offices.

    Isn't that considerate of them.

  • Big Mack Says:

    "Scott Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    Also, to be effective, wouldn’t it have to be on the ceiling as well?"

    Only if you are worried about neighbors above you. Radio waves travel in a straight line. If they go out through your walls, then they will be "seen" from the street or your next door neighbors. If they go out through your roof, then Space Aliens will be the hackers.

  • Omar Says:

    Can't you just use a good password and turn on your mac address filter?

  • T Says:

    and...what about all the dangerous waves being emitted by your computer, etc. in the room that would be kept around you all the time while you're working in such a wallpapered room?

  • Think About It Says:

    Why not just put your aluminum foil hat back on and learn to live with it.

  • Gee-off Says:

    And windows don't stop radio waves?? Or is there a wall paper for that, too ? Let's not forget that SILVER is a hazardous air contaminant, and therefore, subject to a host of post 2008 Administration increased pressure on environmental regulations. What's the cost of silver now? Do we TRUST the French ?

  • cindy dial Says:

    Hey Nerds!!

    NOBODY is trying to hack into your password protected network. Get over yourself.

  • fmc Says:

    Why am I even thinking about this? Anyway, it occurred to me that the aluminum siding already used on many houses makes this idea redundant. Maybe you have ti ground the siding, but it should work as well as this wallpaper.

  • fmc Says:

    Just like the tinfoil hats some people wear. Only that's to keep electromagnetic signals OUT.

  • dave Says:

    your worried about this and you vote into office a thief and a plain liar-Go figure

  • Altund Vacklig Says:

    Electrical power net Lan solves the cable problem 4 me. AV

  • Altund Vacklig Says:

    Electrical power net Lan solves the cable problem 4 me. AV

  • Mickey Says:

    This would be very useful if you are a covert CIA agent or running a network broadcasting national secrets (wirelessly) to the people sunning themselves at the pool.

    Who sits at home and worries about drive by hackers, or Chineese snooper drones? This invention is as useful as a lead baloon.

  • Ron Boston Says:

    I bet the wallpaper works as well as my aluminum foil hat. I haven't heard any of the voices in all the years I've been wearing it.

  • Phil Davis Says:

    This is nothing new. If you made it so my wife would allow it on the walls, THAT would be a breakthrough!

  • Roger in AZ Says:

    Greg, you do know that all encryption algorithms have been cracked, right? (Ok, blowfish was never cracked but it is too old and not used much now) Even elliptical curve is crackable these days and has been cracked. So a Faraday cage is the best solution if you ask me.

  • Ray Says:

    well my house is in the middle of my 40 acres so if i see someone sitting outside on their laptop, I think they need to be worried about the .00 buckshot that's coming their way..

  • George Says:

    You should try using aluminum foil to make hats (to reduce alien mind control),
    and line _your_ underwear (to reduce port probes by aliens).

  • Kevin Says:

    I am a network security specialist. My best advice is to spend a few bucks, and have a pro setup your security. They won't charge much, and can be gone in an hour or two. I guarantee nobody, besides the CIA or NSA could hack my wireless setup.

  • Avery Says:

    I'm told that aluminum foil can be used to make a quasi-faraday cage. Is that right?

  • Steve Says:

    This is not a faraday cage. A faraday cage needs to be grounded and leak-proof to work. This is more like a whole bunch of frequency-tuned RF filters. It sounds like the wallpaper essentially has a bunch of antennas printed on it that are tuned to absorb certain frequencies.

  • Joe Fitz Says:

    This is silly. Encryption will protect the network better than this jive hide-the-signal idea. Turn on the WPA2 and use a good password!

  • Herbert Says:

    Lindus, you are so right...it is a Farday Cage from way back many years.

  • Fedup Says:

    Why do you have wireless in a singkle room? Yu should be connected via lan cable. So this will be of no use to 99% of us as we use wifi to roam around and not be tied down to just one room...pfff
    Waste of money!@

  • David Says:

    Seems a bit looney to me. As Slick said, just lock down your network tighter. Sure, it might not be foolproof, but unless you are working on stuff that is extremely secret/valuable, nobody's going to spend the time hacking into your home net -- they'll just try someone else's.

    And if you ARE working on something valuable, then you shouldn't be trusting WiFi with it.

    Looks like just some scheme to sell something to people who are frightened but don't understand security.

  • Ian Says:

    WPA2 can be hacked even with a long pass-phrase

  • Slick Says:

    Why don't the hackers just go to Starbucks? They'll let them use their network all day if they just buy a cup of coffee.

  • Faraday Rage Says:

    while faraday cages are well-known, perhaps there is at least a technical hurdle for blocking particular frequencies, but allowing for others.

    the wallpaper aspect may be patentable because no one thought of patenting such a way of constructing a faraday cage.

    and yeah, what about windows?

  • peter Says:

    How exactly do you crack people’s unprotected home networks ? There's nothing to crack if it is unprotected, right ?

  • Jeremy Says:

    If you are that worried, just stick to ethernet cables for network access and use wifi for the internet.

  • Benjamin Says:

    I live in a 100 year old house. Trust me when I say, lead paint works just as well...just don't eat it.

  • algor Says:

    ...and won't let the cellphone signal in and out

  • Jonathan Says:

    Lol at trying to make it sound like this is new. Faraday cages and electromagnetic interference paint have been around since the cold war. The point of a wireless network is more multiple rooms. Congrats french designers you created something that is prob already patented lolz

  • Rob Says:

    I think you would only want to put it on rooms with exterior walls and on those walls. If you put this wall paper on all exterior walls and use a password protected network, I think the signal would be weak enough that it would not be worth the hackers time. Personally don't think it would be necessary for my house because I can barely get a signal in my attached garage. However, if I lived in an apartment or condo, that would be a different story all together.

  • Scott Says:

    Also, to be effective, wouldn't it have to be on the ceiling as well?

  • Tony Says:

    If you can only use your WiFi in one room of your house that kind of defeats the purpose of having a home WiFi network.

  • render yourself Says:

    What about the windows on the house?

  • Greg Says:

    You could always just turn on the router's WPA2 encryption and use a long pass phrase.

  • Lindus Says:

    And it is really called a Faraday Cage... But that doesn't sound as trendy or sensationalistic. Done before and are done on a regular basis when people don't want radio or electricity in or out.

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