Plug pulled on anonymous Wi-Fi

spyRhino Security Labs has pulled the plug on an anonymous Wi-Fi device it was developing just a month after its existence was announced.

Security researcher Benjamin Caudill from Rhino Security Labs unveiled Proxyham, a device small enough to be slotted into a book and squirrelled away in a separate location from the user in order to confuse Internet traffic tracking systems.

The $200 device was made up of a Raspberry Pi PC and antennas. The product uses low-frequency radio channels to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots up to 2.5 miles away, and if a user’s signature is traced, the only IP address which appears is from the Proxyham box which can be planted far away from the user.

At the time Caudill was quoted as saying, “You can have it all the way across town, and worst case scenario the police go barge into the library across town”.

He was supposed to be showing it off at the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas next month, but now that will not happen.

The sale and distribution of the Proxyham anonymous Internet browsing device, source code and blueprints has been stopped in its tracks.

Through Twitter, Rhino Labs said “Effective immediately, we are halting further dev on Proxyham and will not be releasing any further details or source for the device.”

Caudill will no longer be hosting a talk at Defcon on the device, whistleblowers and the challenge of being anonymous online and no one is saying why.

I could be because the outfit has secretly flogged it to another party. However, this was quickly quashed by the security firm, which said they “can’t go into any further details” on either the research or cancelled talk.

What is more likely is that it has received a National Security Letter which would also act as a gagging order.