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Open Wireless Router firmware aims for better router security, network performance

Lucian Constantin | July 22, 2014
Advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to address the poor security track record of home routers with a new firmware project that will encourage users to share their Internet connection publicly by setting up guest Wi-Fi networks.

So far the firmware's "hacker alpha release," as the EFF calls it, can only be installed on one router model — the Netgear WNDR3800. However, the firmware is based on a custom router software called CeroWrt, which is itself based on OpenWrt, one of the most popular community built router firmware project that supports a wide range of router models from many manufactures.

CeroWrt is also focused on network performance and security. Some of its goals includes proper support for IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) and better integration with DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions).

The EFF will be sponsoring a router hacking contest at the upcoming Defcon 22 security conference in Las Vegas next month together with security consultancy firm Independent Security Evaluators. The contest will reward security researchers for finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in home routers from different manufacturers, including in the Open Wireless Router firmware.

 

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