[Freedombox-discuss] ISC wraps up Open Home Gateway Forum

Sean Alexandre sean at alexan.org
Tue Jan 28 17:35:17 UTC 2014

From: Brian Reed 

ISC wraps up Open Home Gateway Forum

Following a successful public demonstration at the 88th Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF) meeting November 2013, ISC’s Open Home Gateway Forum team has
submitted its code for package signing and validation to the OpenWrt project.
ISC is now disbanding the Open Home Gateway Forum since this code has been

Comcast and ISC created the Open Home Gateway Forum (OHGF) to address problems
in managing large numbers of home gateway devices.  The Open Home Gateway Forum
(OHGF) team created and demonstrated enhancements to OpenWrt that enabled
a robust process for remote configuration and software upgrade. This could
allow an ISP to securely update home gateway devices, and might be leveraged
more broadly by OpenWrt to provide automatic software updates. This is
important since so much customer premise equipment never receives a software
update, creating significant future security vulnerabilities.  This new feature
can mitigate the risk of software never being updated, which has recently been
in the news in an article by Bruce Schneier and in a malware attack affecting
Internet devices.

The remote configuration and update process uses cryptographic signatures and
checksum verification to ensure the integrity of the update source as well as
the validity of the software downloaded. These extra security measures protect
the home gateway from downloading or installing software delivered by or
tampered with by any unauthorized party.

As the largest cable Internet Provider in North America, Comcast has a vested
interest in solving this problem.  One way they have chosen to address it by
funding the development of a transparent open source solution.

OpenWrt is a highly extensible GNU/Linux distribution that runs on over 80
different manufacturer’s embedded systems. OpenWrt is an open source project,
meaning that the source code is freely available, and they welcome
contributions from contributors anywhere in the world.  Many of the millions of
home gateways connected to the Internet run software based on OpenWrt.
Improvements made in OpenWrt can have a wide-ranging impact.

“We are part of a community working together to address a global Internet
problem,” stated Gregers Petersen, OpenWrt Relationship Manager.   “We welcome
the support of, and collaboration with, ISC and Comcast.   The open source
model is once again proving to be the best way to tackle the really tough
technical problems that affect us all.”

“OpenWrt is a vibrant open source project and their software is used by many of
our Xfinity Internet customers as well as countless other Internet users,” said
Jason Livingood, Vice President of Internet & Communications Engineering at
Comcast. “We are happy that ISC was able to develop a unique way of secure
remote configuration and update, since regular and automatic software updates
are a critical part of ensuring the ongoing security of Internet-connected
consumer devices.”

After working with the OHGF team, OpenWrt is continuing to add support for
detecting and recovering from interrupted installs and is working on a way to
safely do home gateway kernel upgrades.  For more information about OpenWrt, or
to contribute or download the software distribution, see

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list