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Anonymizing Wi-Fi device with 2.5 mile range just mysteriously disappeared from Def Con

July 14th, 2015 at 7:45 AM
Proxyham WiFi

Earlier this month, we highlighted an intriguing new piece of hardware capable of providing secure and anonymous Wi-Fi connectivity within a 2.5 mile radius. The brainchild of researcher Ben Caudill, the device, dubbed ProxyHam, was scheduled to be officially introduced at Def Con in Las Vegas early next month.

But then something funny happened.

Caudill’s talk was abruptly cancelled under extremely mysterious circumstances over the weekend.

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“Caudill had planned a talk at DEF CON 23 centered on ProxyHam, which would’ve included a demonstration and the release of full hardware schematics, as well as source code,” CSO writes. “While everything needed to develop a device would’ve been offered, pre-configured units were planned for sale at a cost of $200.”

Caudill himself has been strangely quiet about the circumstances surrounding his cancelled talk. All we know at this point is that Caudill won’t be speaking and pervious plans to sell working units and release the device’s source code have completely been scrapped.

As one might expect, some now believe that Caudill’s talk was abruptly taken off the docket at the behest of the U.S. Government.

“It isn’t perfect, but a tool like Proxyham,” CSO adds, “when combined with Tor and other VPN services, would be powerful. Such a combination would make tracking dissidents or whistleblowers (even with custom malware or tools from the likes of Hacking Team) increasingly difficult the more that ProxyHam was developed.”

When reached for comment by Business Insider, Caudill was expectedly mum, noting that he wasn’t at liberty to “disclose any further information on Proxyham, the Defcon talk on anonymity and privacy, or the cancellation of the research.”

Via Twitter, Caudill would only confirm that ProxyHam was not sold to any third party. There are also these few tweets which are worth highlighting.

This tweet, though, about sums it up.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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