|[June 24, 2014]
Hackers Mobilize to Attack Routers via ISE Contest
LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)--
An elite competition is scheduled for hackers and computer scientists
from around the world to better protect consumers against widespread
security vulnerabilities in wireless routers. A series of studies1
in 2013 discovered a security epidemic affecting small office/home
office (SOHO) WiFi (News - Alert) routers, wherein vulnerabilities allow an attacker to
take control of the device and thereby intercept and modify network
traffic. Abundant news coverage over the past 15 months has extensively
reported the malicious exploitation of these devices, yet the epidemic
persists today with little progress made by router manufacturers to
address the issues. By bringing together the brightest minds in
security, the hacking competition, dubbed "SOHOpelessly Broken" after
the seminal research of the same title, seeks to identify new and
existing security vulnerabilities in these widely deployed devices. "By
demonstrating that the issues persist and that consumers are still
exposed, pressure will be applied to the manufacturers to take the
necessary action to better protect their customers who are currently not
empowered to protect themselves," says Steve Bono, founder of ISE and
one of the leaders of the event.
The competition will run during the renowned DEFCON hacker conference,
from 7-10 August 2014 at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The
contest will host a range of activities, including multiple talk tracks,
Capture the Flag, 0-day vulnerability discovery, and others. The contest
is organized by a partnership between two leading entities in the
security community: Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) and the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). ISE is the respected cyber
security company most commonly known for being first to hack the iPhone (News - Alert)
and most recently for discovering the epidemic of security
vulnerabilities in routers. The EFF is the leading nonprofit
organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. DEFCON is
one of the largest and oldest annual hacker conferences.
"The outcome of this event will be two-fold," says Ranga rishnan of the
EFF. "First, we will prove that routers are still vulnerable. Second, we
will galvanize a community of technologists to demand remediation by
manufacturers." EFF is also driving a related initiative known as the
Open Wireless Movement (https://openwireless.org).
In order to support this initiative, the EFF is developing a router on
which users can confidently turn on an open WiFi channel that provides
private internet access to guest users, without compromising the users'
own security, privacy or internet experience.
Individuals interested in participating as contestants or as judges are
encouraged to contact contest organizers as soon as possible through the
contest website, www.sohopelesslybroken.com.
Available spots are limited. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities
are also available. The official hashtag of the event is #sohopelesslybroken.
ISE is most commonly recognized for being the first company to exploit
the iPhone2, an achievement that garnered international
attention. ISE's most recent research discovered systemic issues in SOHO
routers3 and web browsers4.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization
defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF
champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact
litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology
development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and
protected as our use of technology grows.
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