Build Secure Firefox OS Apps at RHoKSec in Amsterdam

FirefoxOS is the mobile device operating system from Mozilla. The system is fully open source and free as in Liberty unlike Android which is open in theory, but actually fairly locked down in practice. Mozilla markets their phone most heavily to people in low resource countries and to the poor, including migrants, in high resource countries. These are some of the most vulnerable populations precisely because of their lack of funds, and we would like to take the opportunity of the RHoKSec hackathon at Hack In The Box Haxpo to create some tools to help protect the privacy of FirefoxOS users.

The Android operating system already has a vibrant community dedicated to building privacy and security apps, and we are particularly inspired by the work of The Guardian Project. That community builds and supports a range of privacy and security apps including a TOR browser, encrypted SMS messenger, encrypted calling, and image obfuscation to protect identities in photographs.

Another project that we really love is Mailvelope which enables pgp encryption and signing on a Web browser. We think that it would be pretty great if that were available for FirefoxOS mobile phones as well!

This challenge is wide open for you to pick a favorite privacy or security issue and build an app to fit.

If you’ve never developed for FirefoxOS before, you are in for a treat! I was pretty skeptical of the notion myself until I tried it out at last year’s Hack In The Box. It’s just like writing a web application. So simple and straight forward. So easy to debug. All the tools you need are right in your browser. It’s sweet.

And if you fall in love with the system as much as I did, you’ll be pleased to know that we have 5 FirefoxOS phones to give away as prizes. So, make a great security app, and you may get to put it to use yourself!


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