[Battlemesh] [Office] FCC Firmware lockdown

Paul Fuxjaeger fuxjaeger at ftw.at
Thu Sep 3 23:20:44 CEST 2015

> On 03/09/2015, Amelia Andersdotter <teirdes at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I fail to see how the EU directive hinders anyone from putting in 
>> their own software on a radio device.
>> Could someone update me? It's being implemented in Sweden with a 
>> deadline for comments in October.

Article 3, point (i) of [1]:

"radio equipment supports certain features in order to ENSURE that
software can only be loaded into the radio equipment where the
compliance of the combination of the radio equipment and software has
been demonstrated."

My current interpretation is that for all devices using SoftMAC radio
chipsets this necessitates a lockdown of the complete software stack.
Because on such devices the code that sets the regulatory rules is
executed in the same context as everything else.

AFAIK, the majority of APs currently on the market is based on such an
architecture. Manufacturers have an alternative: switch back to more
complex (e.g. FullMAC) architectures that allow to lock down the radio
subsystem separately [2].

To me this FCC document [3] indicates complete lockdown:

"ENSURE that only properly authenticated software is loaded and
operating the device [...] manufacturers may consider applying existing
industry standards for strong security and authentication. It is
suggested that manufacturers follow existing security standards and
definitions: X.800, RFC 2828, and IEEE 802.11i."



[2] Enforcement of local regulatory differences is still an issue as the
radio subsystem cannot reliably detect where it is located without the
help of the host system.

[3] http://www.heise.de/downloads/18/1/5/7/9/4/3/6/GetAttachment.pdf

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