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Open Wireless Hackathon Seeks Security Holes and Developer Roles

Hackers Invited to Test Open Wireless Code, Develop New Concepts

SAN FRANCISCO – April 17 – The San Francisco offices of Riscure will host the first Open Wireless Hackathon all day Saturday, April 18 to test Open Wireless and OpenWrt security, and to allow developers to work with and expand Open Wireless code. Volunteer hackers are invited to register via Eventbrite.

Hosted the Saturday before the annual RSA Conference, the Hackathon will be a great opportunity to bring together folks from all sectors of the OpenWrt community. Along with OpenWrt community members, the Hackathon is sponsored by security companies like Riscure, open source software companies like ThoughtWorks and tech nonprofits like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The prpl Foundation is also sponsoring and participating in this event.

“Since Open Wireless’ code is based so significantly on OpenWrt, any security problems and solutions related to Open Wireless will also apply to OpenWrt,” said Imre Kaloz of the OpenWrt Core team, who will be at the Hackathon to advise and participate. 

A Bug Reward will be given to hackers who come up with the best exploit, said event organizer Ranganathan Krishnan, founder of Selwastor LLC.

“The emergence of open, extensible Internet architectures allows for a variety of innovative connections in the real world,” said Art Swift, president of the prpl Foundation. “With this unprecedented level of connectivity comes a need for a new level of security, and hackathons like this are a part of that work.”

“Running an Open Wireless router is an act of community spirit that makes life easier for everyone who needs Internet access — friends, neighbors and passersby,” said Peter Eckersley, Technology Projects Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  “But we need better tools for sharing Wi-Fi in a convenient, privacy-friendly and secure manner, and the Open Wireless project is working to build and incorporate those into widely used open router firmware.”

“The industry-wide realization that secure products cannot exist without tight integration between the people who are making the product and the people who aim to secure it – it is directly reflected in this unique event,” said Jasper Van Woudenberg, CTO Riscure North America. “As such we are very happy to co-organize this Hackathon with a broad selection of partners; ThoughtWorks, EFF, and prpl. Riscure is proud to host the Hackathon in its San Francisco offices; it reflects our values of openness and, well, having fun while hacking things.”

“This hackathon will be a great opportunity for developers and security analysts to work side by side while contributing to the OpenWireless movement,” said Jack Singleton, software developer for ThoughtWorks. “The software development industry has a lot of room to improve in both the practices we use to create software and the security of the software we provide to the general public – on Saturday we will have a chance to work on both!”

About Open Wireless

Open Wireless is designed to enable the development of a scalable network of open Wi-Fi access points. Open Wireless is one of several flavors of OpenWrt, a free and open, highly extensible GNU/Linux distribution for embedded devices (typically wireless routers).

OpenWrt is an open, full-featured, easily modifiable operating system that allows developers to build applications without having to create a complete firmware image and distribution around it. For users, this means the freedom of full customization, allowing the use of an embedded device in ways the vendor never envisioned.

Earlier this year, the prpl Foundation formed a prpl engineering group (PEG) to expand industry support for OpenWrt as a framework for embedded devices ranging from home routers and gateways to innovative IoT applications.

Through the prpl PEG and events like the Open Wireless Hackathon, engineers and interested developers will have new opportunities to collaborate with OpenWrt core team developers and to participate in improving documentation and communications.

“Our support for OpenWrt is a great example of how the prpl Foundation intends to work with the open source community.  OpenWrt has an active and vibrant team of core developers, and together with some of our key partners in the prpl Foundation, we will provide resources and support to help broaden their reach,” said Swift.

Hackers are asked to register via Eventbright. The Hackathon takes place at the San Francisco offices of Riscure at 550 Kearny St., Suite 330, from 10 AM-8 PM, Saturday, April 18. For more information, see the EFF’s Open Wireless Hackathon Wiki page.

About prpl Foundation

prpl (pronounced “Purple”) is an open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture—and open to others—with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures. prpl represents leaders in the technology industry investing in innovation in efficiency, portability and compatibility for the good of a broad community of developers, businesses and consumers. Initial domains targeted by prpl include datacenter, networking & storage, connected consumer and embedded/IoT. Members include: Broadcom, Cavium, Ikanos, Imagination Technologies, Ineda, Ingenic, Lantiq, PMC and Qualcomm. See:

Media Contacts:

Neal Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
(760) 639-2900
[email protected]

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