DIGITAL RIGHTS GROUP the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking hackers to help it with its plans to build a secure but open router.
The EFF has released source code for such a machine that runs on the Netgear WNDR3800, and its hope is that the security community will download and run with it.
"EFF is releasing an experimental hacker alpha release of wireless router software specifically designed to support secure, shareable Open Wireless networks. This release is a work in progress and is intended only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge," it said.
"The software aims to do several things that existing routers don't do well - or don't do at all... 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 aims are few, but worthy. The EFF imagines a world where routers can offer passers-by free wireless connections while delivering a secure, locked-down network for other users. It said that this could be "bounded", meaning that random punters would not be a drain on the network resources.
The EFF intends this to be a knock it down and start again approach to wireless security. The EFF suggested that the existing options are a security nightmare.
It said that its aims include: "Advance the state of the art in consumer Wi-Fi router security and begin turning back the growing tide of attacks against them;" and, "Most or all existing router software is full of XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities, and we want to change that."
As well as creating an improvement over present solutions and systems the EFF would also like to see a simplified feel to the router, and suggested that an easy to comprehend user interface would be the best option.
Code and other information is available at Github. µ