iPhone not guilty of college Wi-Fi attack

US university finally tracks down the real culprit

A US university has had to backtrack on claims that the Apple iPhone was causing problems on its Wi-Fi network. Duke University had accused the so-called JesusPhone of polling its Wi-Fi network thousands of times per second, causing it to fall over. Now the real culprit has been found.

The 150 iPhones on campus were blamed because they kept asking for a router address which was deemed invalid on Duke's campus network. When iPhones couldn't get the address, they kept asking - up to 18,000 times per second, and than in turn caused the university's Cisco wireless LAN to fall over.

This prompted Kevin Miller - assistant director for communications infrastructure at Duke's - to prematurely declare: "I don't believe it's a Cisco problem in any way, shape, or form."

Well it turns out he was wrong.

iPhone as scapegoat

In a statement issued last Friday, Cisco said it had "worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of this problem, which was caused by a Cisco-based network issue. Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke's network and the problem has not occurred since."

The university also absolved the iPhone from blame:

"Earlier reports that this was a problem with the iPhone in particular have proved to be inaccurate," a Duke statement said.

That'll teach sysadmins to jump to conclusions, eh?