The Firecard is a revolutionary and extremely cool self-contained computer on a PCI card, acting as a firewall. It was created by Merilus, a small computer security company in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. The system is powered by a Transmeta Crusoe TM 3200 CPU for it's low power and lack of heat.

Even though it is hosted in a separate machine, this card is used as another computer on your network. You plug it in, configure it from a different machine remotely, using Java software, and access it just as you would any headless server. It is completely independant from the machine it is hosted on, using it only for power. Once it is up and running you can ssh to it, ping it, or just use it as it is designed to do, and use it as your firewall.

The system has a Disk-on-chip (DOC) which contains the OS for the system, Linux. It's a custom Linux distro that is based on Debian and using libc 2.0. It contains things like VPN support, highly configurable firewall rules, active monitoring, and DHCP server. The card is completely configurable from a Java application called Inferno, which is set up to monitor many of these cards at the same time.

The majority of the OS is set up in the standard way, using /etc/init.d and /etc/rc?.d for start up and config files in /etc/. Lots and lots of shell code has gone into the startup, allowing it to configure every aspect of itself on boot, be it in an unconfigured state or a configured working card.

Probably the coolest feature of this system is it's hackability factor. A self contained system on a single PCI card. Stick a bunch of these togeather for load balancing. Set it up to crack SETI@Home. Do just about whatever you want with it! Of course, this will probably make your warrenty null and void, but when is that last time that that stopped anyone from trying out their deeply cool idea?

Features of the card:

Hardware Information:

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