The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on the hacker community to help create an Open Wireless Router. The organization released an alpha version of the firmware over the weekend, reporting that the software is designed to support shareable, secure Open Wireless networks.
"We are offering this hacker alpha release to engage enthusiastic technical users who would like to help us test, develop, improve, and harden the Open Wireless Router," the EFF said. "Currently the software runs on one specific model of hardware (the Netgear WNDR3800) and is based on the CeroWRT project.
One of the goals is to provide a secure software auto-update mechanism that takes advantage of Tor as well as HTTPS so that malicious, targeted update attacks are difficult to carry out. The EFF also wants to advance consumer Wi-Fi router security to avoid any possible XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities that are common with consumer-grade routers.
Another goal the EFF wants to achieve is to provide state-of-the-art network queuing so that users experience a faster Internet connection than what is offered with a standard router. The Web-based user interface also needs to be "elegant," simple and secure, but also provide plenty of options for the experienced user.
The EFF also wants small businesses and home users to be able to launch an open network so that device owners -- whether they are family or someone passing by -- can get an Internet connection when needed. No passwords required. This guest network would be limited in bandwidth so that guest users don't slow down the main locked network. This open network would be in addition to the locked WPA2 network that requires a password.
Curious hackers with a Netgear WNDR3800 can grab the developer preview by heading here, and learn how to flash the router with the new firmware here. Those wanting to hack the code base can grab the code and instructions from Github here. This release is a work in progress.