China implements new Wi-Fi security standard

Wednesday, 3 December 2003, 3:38 AM EST

The Dec. 1 deadline for all Wi-Fi gear makers to start using the Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI) specification was set by the Standardization Administration of China, which manages standards in various industries in China. Support for WAPI is not included in current or upcoming security specifications, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access or 802.11i, developed and enforced by industry groups the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Wi-Fi Alliance. WAPI is to be used with Wi-Fi standards in the 2.4GHz radio band, according to a notice from the Standardization Administration of China.

WAPI adds yet another security specification that companies will have to consider as they begin installing Wi-Fi networks, adding further confusion to the market, according to security experts. By prohibiting gear that does not use WAPI, the Chinese government is throwing an obstacle in the way of manufacturers looking to enter the Chinese market, they say.

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