ANONYMOUS WI-FI FROM TWO MILES AWAY
One of the last barriers to remaining anonymous on the internet is the correlation between a user’s IP address and their physical location. While VPNs and the Tor browser can mask a user’s IP address by relaying their connection through proxy servers there is still methodology in place to extract the user’s original IP and track their location. To combat this liability, Benjamin Caudill will introduce a new proxy device at the Def Con Conference in Las Vegas next month. The device, called ProxyHam, is a hardware proxy that allows long distance connections to a Wi-Fi network over an unidentifiable radio channel.
The ProxyHam device works by connecting to a Wi-Fi network and relaying the internet connection using a 900 megaherz radio signal to the user’s computer, which may be placed as far away as 2.5 miles away depending on potential environmental interference surrounding the two connection points. The device uses the same frequency as many cordless phones, baby monitors and garage door openers, hiding the signal among the other frequencies.
The device consists of two primary components – a small box containing a credit-card sized computer connected to a Wi-Fi card and a 900 megaherz antenna, intended to be placed in an inconspicuous public place and another 900 megaherz antenna plugged into the end user’s Ethernet port.
Caudill, the inventor of the device and founder of Rhino Security Labs, intends to sell existing versions of the device at cost and release both the blueprints and the source code for users to create their own ProxyHam devices. The device is intended to protect the identities of whistleblowers and journalists under threat of political persecution. In the description on the conference website, Caudill writes, “From the US to China and beyond, anonymity on the internet is under fire – particularly for whistleblowers. National interests are pushing for greater control and monitoring of internet content, often invoking harsh punishments for informers and journalists, if caught.”
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