New Linux phone can 'pwn' Wi-Fi

Phone software is said to be able to host a long list of wireless attacks.

Open source developer NeoPwn has built what it claims is the first Wi-Fi penetration testing platform to run from a mobile phone.

Running a modified version of the Linux 2.6.24 kernel on top of Debian Linux and the Openmoko Neo Freerunner smartphone, the software is said to be able to host a long list of wireless attacks, including KARMetasploit, WPA handshake capture and the Caffe Latte WEP crack. The full list of ported applications quoted by the company runs to over 70.

As a benchmark, the estimated time it takes to crack a WEP network is 5 minutes in client mode, or 14 minutes in clientless operation.

All this and the NeoPwn still functions as a working GSM mobile phone when it's not being used for pen-testing.

Pen-testing tools would normally be run from a Linux laptop, but NeoPwn puts this all on a powerful handheld weighing only 133 grams, and measuring 121 x 62 x 18.5mm. The Neo Freerunner's screen is a 2.8 inch VGA touch-screen, running on the 400MHz ARM9 chip, with tri-band GSM support, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and (non-EDGE) GPRS. The Debian OS boots via the integrated microSD Card slot.

Given the lack of a keyboard, the NeoPwn is set up to launch attacks in an automated way from the GUI.

"We have worked hard to create automated scripts for the end user to perform many of the tasks needed to automate tasks, such as hardware control, application launching, and automated pen-testing," says the FAQ on the company's website.

The device is available in three versions, starting at US$699 for the 'NeoPwn Basic', US$799 for the 'Standard', and US$999 for the 'Extreme' with the differences relating a number of hardware add-ons. The NeoPwn software can also be bought on a 2GB microSD card for US$79.

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John E. Dunn

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