Full Spectrum: Removing iOS from your BYOD

Full Spectrum: Removing iOS from your BYOD

Summary: If you ever need to stop iOS devices from accessing your Wi-Fi, an Apple flaw will help you out.

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TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, Security
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Apple users across the globe this morning reported being unable to connect to their Wi-Fi. Apple quickly fixed the problem, but the flaw exposed a handy way to block Wi-Fi access to iOS devices.

Essentially, when joining a Wi-Fi network, the device determines whether it needs to direct a user to an authentication page by attempting to ping a page on Apple.com. When this page cannot be accessed, it rejects the Wi-Fi connection under the assumption that it is the fault of the connection, not Apple. This assumption is usually correct, unless the page on Apple's servers starts returning 404 errors.

Apple has subsequently fixed the page, but the underlying flaw appears to still exist. Using the Wi-Fi network in our Sydney office, we blocked Apple.com at the router level, and discovered that this effectively prevented iOS devices from connecting to the network.

No doubt Apple will fix this sometime soon, but in the meantime, if pesky iOS devices are hogging up all your network bandwidth, this might be a quick way to kick them off for a while.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Security

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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3 comments
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  • Simple solutions

    Recently at work, our Windows machines started incorrectly displaying the "no internet connection" notice in the system tray. Turns out that Windows machines in general determine your connection status by pinging a particular Microsoft website (I forget what it is at the moment) and our firewall guys, suspicious of all the traffic, had blocked it. Now, I always assumed that there was a much more sophisticated way of determining you connection status than that, but nope. Windows simply tries to ping a public website. If it can't, you get the "no internet connection" warning.
    dsf3g
    • Right Now

      We do block that page here where I work. My Win7 machine has that warning on the wireless icon in the system tray. "No internet access". Yet, I'm able to comment on ZDNet. Unlike iOS devices that shut down wireless if the particular page in question at Apple is blocked, Windows continues to connect to other sites.
      benched42
  • With windows you just get a warning

    You can still browse all the sites, unlike iOS where it rejects your WiFi connection.
    xatx