Network-audit tool for Linux phone announced

The Linux-based NeoPwn phone, based on the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner handset, enables IT pros to test their networks discretely

A handset-based network-penetration tool that runs on a Linux phone has been announced in the US.

The NeoPwn tool is based on a modified Linux 2.6.24 kernel, and will let IT professionals toggle between two modes — 'phone' and 'pwn'. The software stack runs on the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner Linux handset, which offers USB WLAN support, a GPS modem, a GPRS modem for cellular connectivity, and a CSR Bluetooth module.

Pwn mode enables Wi-Fi and Bluetooth network-penetration testing, through the use of tools including Aircrack and Metasploit. While there is no hardware Qwerty keyboard, NeoPwn claimed the FreeRunner's touchscreen keyboard is "more usable than the iPhone and Nokia Nseries".

A mixture of point-and-click navigation menus, combined with attack automation, is also designed to make the product more usable, the company claimed.

"You will have the ability to discretely arm yourself with a device that will fit in a pocket to test various aspects of your client's network — going places where being promiscuous and undetected is essential," states the NeoPwn website.

NeoPwn plans to ship its first phones on 1 October in the US, and is currently taking preorders. The basic package of phone plus operating system will cost $699 (£380), while the basic bundle, which includes a microSD card with the software, will cost $299.

The phone supports GSM carriers that use SIM cards. There was no UK availability information at the time of writing.