French hackers unveil the HADOPI router: cracks nearby WiFi and makes your traffic traceable to your neighbors -- UPDATED

is a hoax as far as I know. it's just to explain that it's very feasible, but there is no running code, just a message saying "hey, this was just a joke alright" when you click on "order"."

French hackers claim to have sabotaged Internet forensics by creating a firmware for routers that cracks nearby WiFi networks and routes your traffic through them at random, creating false trails leading to your neighbors instead of you. They're calling it the HADOPI Router, in honor of Nicolas Sarkozy's crazy Internet law of the same name.

HADOPI originally required ISPs to disconnect users after three unsubstantiated claims of copyright infringement (Princeton's Ed Felten compared this to giving publishers the power to take away all the printed matter in your household if you were accused of committing three acts of illegal photocopying or cut-and-paste). The law was initially defeated in the French parliament, then it passed on reintroduction, only to be struck down by France's high court on the grounds that it violated human rights.

Undaunted, Sarkozy has reintroduced the bill, on a fast track, with a provision that creates a five-minute judicial review prior to account termination, fines and imprisonment for those accused of illegal file-sharing. The French HADOPI Router hackers created their technology to highlight the unreliability of network forensics under the best of circumstances, and to create a veneer of plausible deniability for any accused: "Your honor, I must have been the victim of a neighbor with a HADOPI router."

A hacker known only as 'N' says he has developed some software known as 'Hadopi Router', a term first penned by bloggers who devised the concept. 'N', who is said to have previously worked manufacturing routers, says he and a few friends wrote 'Hadopi Router' in order to prove that the evidence gathered by the Hadopi agency is unreliable.

"It locates Wi-Fi networks in the neighborhood, then begins to crack all their passwords," says 'N'. "Once we have the keys, we can create a virtual access point," which in basic terms means using the Internet connection without the account holder's knowledge.

'N' says that if an 'owned' router has its password changed, the system automatically switches to another Wi-Fi signal in the neighborhood and starts to attack the new password.

Additionally, 'N' claims that with Hadopi Router it is possible to monitor activity on the cracked networks but one of his accomplices called 'V' says they have no bad intentions.

Hackers Undermine Piracy Evidence With Hadopi Router

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  1. Or just leave your WiFi AP wide-open, no passwords or anything. Change your MAC address every few days so, when and if, you’re busted…

    The only way this wouldn’t work is if you live in a really WiFi-sparse neighborhood.

  2. ORLY?

    From the blog post:
    “As an effort to try and show how absurd this law is in today’s world I put up a fake page (in French) selling the “Hadopi router” that automatically cracks passwords of the nearby Wifi networks and connects to them to download torrents.

    It’s a dumb joke, but I think it does point out a little bit of the absurdity of the law :-) Comments and suggestions welcome!”

  3. @FSCK: you are both right and wrong.

    The first HARDWARE “routeur Hadopi” was a joke.

    But N. presented a SOFTWARE prototype of the “routeur Hadopi”.

    “The expression was coined by bloggers who imagined the concept. We made it come true”, explained the Tmp/lab (a “hackers space” south of Paris) member.

  4. Just build in TOR tunneling, get this to run on commodity hardware like DD-WRT does, and you have the beginning of XNet.

  5. Update : the so called “routeur Hadopi” is in fact HostileWRT, a mod of OpenWRT, and was developped before Hadopi law was voted.

    The members of Tmp/lab called the article in Le Monde “full of bullshit” (sic), mentioning invented citations and imaginary people interviewed.

    Source : Numerama.com (french)

  6. Sarko’s enthusiasm is odd…unless perhaps the MAFIAA gave him Carla Bruni on the condition that he pass these laws.

  7. “(…) to create a veneer of plausible deniability for any accused: “Your honor, I must have been the victim of a neighbor with a HADOPI router.”

    It’s my understanding that under the proposed law, the accused never gets to address a judge, so no defense is possible.

  8. Although the accused may not have a hearing before getting access terminated, such cases could set the grounds for class action lawsuits on behalf of people who have been disconnected. I’m assuming France’s legal system is similar to the USA’s in this regard. Given their previous high court decision the law looks like it will be struck down again. I wonder if they can force the RIAA and MPAA to pay legal costs.

    Also, I find it kind of sad that the entertainment industry’s forays into unfair legislation necessitate the production of things like the HADOPI router. Another good option, if the law is passed, is for people to accuse gov’t. officials who helped pass it and employees of the MPAA and RIAA of copyright infringement. Then they would be disconnected and understand how stupid and destructive this is.

  9. It’s foolish crap like Sarko’s Law that will make electronic eavesdropping untenable. As more move to encrypted and obfuscated networks, legitimate surveillance (such a thing does exist) will become impossible. Ten years ago I thought the barnstorming days of the internet were coming to a close. I could not have been more wrong.

  10. The obvious solution is to quietly create a small publishing company and when the law is all settled and passed, collect a database of every French internet user and file three complaints against each in rapid succession thus closing down the entire French internet. I suppose the company might have to create three copyrighted works, but this is a pretty low bar to cross.

    Since the law places no penalty on bogus filings and assumes that everyone is a criminal, why not take advantage of it?

  11. The obvious solution is to quietly create a small publishing company and when the law is all settled and passed, collect a database of every French internet user and file three complaints against each in rapid succession thus closing down the entire French internet. I suppose the company might have to create three copyrighted works, but this is a pretty low bar to cross.

    Since the law places no penalty on bogus filings and assumes that everyone is a criminal, why not take advantage of it?

    P.S. I apologize for a possible double posting. I’m so used to filling in captchas without thinking, that I forgot to login!

  12. #1 posted by murrayhenson, July 10, 2009 5:42 AM :
    FROM ” Or just leave your WiFi AP wide-open, no passwords or anything.”

    (I’m french) I think the law consider it’s your responsability if you don’t have any security. I think you must at least use WEP encryption.

  13. Only switch wifi on when you need it. Have good old cabled network access wherever you can (mostly you’re working at the same spot, no?). Better for your, and other’s, health too?

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