World's first hack-proof Wi-Fi router with open source firmware is here

World’s first open source hack-proof Wi-Fi router launched

Turris Omnia WiFi Router, the world’s first hack-proof router with open source firmware launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic.

WiFi Routers are the gateway for every home and business Internet network. Though they are the mainstay behind your Internet connection so little has been done or thought about their security. In most of the cases, the only security feature enabled on your WiFi router is its default password. Any hacker with basic Internet language and right tools can hack your home/business Wi-Fi router, providing him/here complete access to your PC/data.

This was best demonstrated when hackers managed to breach the defenses of Bangladesh Bank because it was using a $10 router. The hackers siphoned off whopping $1 billion due to  the fact that the bank officials did not change the default password for the routers in the bank.

Now it seems someone has woken up to the dangers of vulnerable routers. NIC.cz has come up with Turris Omnia router which is said to be the world’s first hack-proof WiFi router.

The Turris Omnia router is a result of a cyber security research project by Czech Republic’s domain administrator NIC.cz. Furthermore, NIC.cz has open-sourced the Turris Omnia firmware making it easy for automatic updates and patching vulnerabilities once they become exposed.

Ondrej Filip, NIC.cz CEO, explained the general idea behind the project:

If you look at an average router you can buy from a shop, it comes with firmware that is not designed to ever be updated. But routers are quite easy to hack and there have been a lot of examples in the past of vulnerabilities that have never been fixed. In our research, we have seen examples of massive cyber attacks coming from people’s home routers,” Filip described. “Essentially, there is a very large botnet that is trying to find poorly secured routers and connects them to itself. At the end, you have thousands of devices that are working together trying, for example, to guess some passwords.”

Filip says that the ability of Turris Omnia to self-update and also communicate with other routers and share information about possible security threats makes it unique. The user has a complete overview of the network, easily monitoring which devices are connected to it and to which servers data is being sent.

Another advantage of Turris Omnia is that both the hardware and software are open source so people with the necessary knowledge can further tinker with it.

The Turris Omnia router is priced at $284 including shipping. The router comes with a 2GB expanded RAM, Wi-Fi cards, power supply and cooler. Thought the Turris Omnia router looks a tad expensive, it looks like a good buy for its features.