ProxyHam, a killer application to protect online anonymity

Pierluigi Paganini July 02, 2015

ProxyHam is a hardware device designed by a group of researchers to allow anonymous connections to Wi-Fi from about 2.5 Miles away.

Security researcher Benjamin Caudill has designed a device that allows to keep anonymous users online experience, an amazing system for the anonymity of whistleblowers, journalists and dissidents.

Caudill named his device ProxyHam, it’s a “hardware proxy” that allows users to connect to anonymously connect to public Wi-Fi network from about 2.5 Miles away. The ProxyHam device allows the connection from a long-distance public Wi-Fi network over an unidentifiable low-frequency radio channels.

Even if someone tries to identify the user behind the Proxyham he will be able to discover only the IP address of the ProxyHam box.

“You can have it all the way across town, and worst case scenario the police go barge into the library across town,” Caudill said.

The hearth of the Proxyham is a WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi computer which controls three antennas. One antenna is used to connect to a source Wi-Fi network in a public place, and the remaining ones are used to transmit the Wi-Fi signal at a 900 MHz frequency.

proxyham wifi anonymity

The Proxyham uses a 900 MegaHertz radio connection and is able to operate with a range of between 1 and 2.5 Miles, depending upon environmental interferences.

“We consider this the last or worst case scenario, the absolute fallback plan if everything else fails,” Benjamin Caudill, the founder of Rhino Security Labs, told Motherboard, explaining that Proxyham is a complement to traditional anonymizing tools such as Tor.”

Caudill and his colleagues are working to improve the Proxyham, they are working to reduce the dimension of the device in a way to hide it in a book and making easy to conceal.  Caudill is also working on a series of new features, including a self-destruction functionality in case someone tampers the device.

“If you throw this in a library it would take you years to be able to identify it,” Caudill added.

“Another is a system to record and send the audio of the last few seconds before the destruction to the user. This would be a sort of digital black box that could help figure out what went wrong and who might be after the Proxyham user. ” wrote Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai on Motherboard.

Caudill will present ProxyHam at the next Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas. The researcher is also planning to release the hardware specs, the source code and the blueprint of the device so that anyone can develop it.

Caudill revealed that he is also planning to sell ProxyHam “at cost” for $200, “as a service to the community.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –ProxyHam Box, Anonymity)

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