2016年2月19日金曜日

Seems TP-Link started lock down their firmware

I could hear some crying voice in this morning. Mostly that's because of below kind of issue.


http://ml.ninux.org/pipermail/battlemesh/2016-February/004379.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/46c3tx/tplink_begins_router_lockdown_due_to_fcc_proposed/

Some quotes here,

 Camille09:28:15 pm Right, due to FCC

Adam Longwill09:28:50 pm Thank you very much. Can you explain why the
WDR3600 appears to be locked down? Is it possible that your list is not
totally updated?
And do you have a method or avenue that people who wish to use other
firmware have?

Camille09:34:02 pm Yes, wdr3600 as dual band wifi router, is also locked
down. And there is no other way to use other firmware. Sorry for that

Fucking hell. The FCC fucked up big time on this issue and now generations of routers are completely ruined.

So what was happened in router world is here. There is alternate firmware for router. Such as open-wrt,  tomato or dd-wrt. Here, I'll call them as "open source firmware". And some company purchase the router of Asus, TP-Link, netgear, Buffalo, etc. Then flash it to open source firmware and customize it as they want. Then provide customized router to their customer or use for their purpose.

But this time, TP-Link started to prevent to flash to those kind of open source firmware. we call this as "lock down to router". What's this mean? this means, those users can't use open source firmware anymore on the TP-Link router. And it means their business will be stopped in worst case. Because they can't produce their product for their customer.

Why this related to FCC? FCC is now issuing the new rule. And in that rule, FCC is requesting to manufacturer to prevent to emit the illegal RADIO output. This contains power of RADIO and frequency of RADIO. So FCC doesn't ask to manufacturer to prevent to flash to open source firmware directly. But on most of the open source firmware, RADIO power or frequency is customize-able (because, there is a driver source code!). so what manufacturer can do to follow the FCC's request is lock down their router. Just prevent to be flashed to open source firmware.

of course, there is another way to achieve FCC's requirement. If power of RADIO and frequency of RADIO is decided by hardware, such as read the configuration from SPI, or using e-Fuse, maybe possible. But my view, it's difficult to have the restriction by hardware level.

So just my view, but other competitors will follow this decision. Asus, Netgear, Linksys will lock down their firmware on their router in near future.


So far, if you want to customize your router, I have 1 answer.

I've been suspected this situation. So to avoid my business risk, I studied about DD-WRT-NXT product. Seems it's customize-able, but WiFi-driver is provided by binary. I can't modify it. Also it's already have the lock down scheme. When I build a new firmware, I need to signing the firmware before applying. router doesn't allow the firmware before signing.
I'm feeling as long as I use DD-WRT-NXT product for my business, I'll not be affected by this FCC regulation update.


 Hope everybody will find any solution soon.


bad fortune sneaks to you silently, and suddenly appeared.
Spike.

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