BSoDomizer blue-screens your enemies

In case you were wondering what industrious hacker [Joe Grand] was doing when he’s not building stuff for Prototype This!, designing Defcon badges, or testifying before congress, it’s this: The BSoDomizer is a VGA pass through device that displays an image of your choice on the victim’s screen. It can do this either periodically or via an IR trigger. The image of choice is a Windows style Blue Screen of Death. It’s powered by a watch battery. The project site has all the schematics you need plus ASCII goatse imagery; you’ve been warned. Embedded below is a demo of the device. We unfortunately didn’t get to see it when it was originally presented during Defcon 16.

[via Gizmodo]


  1. pcairic says:

    WARNING … homophobic content


  2. gm says:

    Next step: put it _inside_ the monitor :D

  3. ax0n says:

    I live-tweeted from this presentation at DefCon. Joe and Zoz are not only EE/CS gurus, they have a great sense of humor and a very strong stage presence — Not common for many geeks of their caliber. This was a great presentation, and the demo video was absolutely hilarious. It got me interested in other uses for the Parallax Propeller platform as well.

  4. rivetgeek says:


    how is goaste homophobic? I think you meant homoerotic

  5. pascal says:

    @pcairic, yeah, think of a better-fitting word that starts with “sod” and can be associated with goatse… btw, nobody honestly speaks of sodomy anymore, only when used ironically… (at least, people I listen to do so. a lot.)

  6. DarkFader says:

    I thought most VGA ports had +5V available. I wonder if the image stays when powering off the PC.
    Anyway, SysInternals has a nice BSOD screensaver. With access to a PC, you could trigger it via network somehow.

  7. Jerome says:

    They use the MAX4885

    it is a Complete VGA 1:2 or 2:1 Multiplexer

    pretty cool!

    the problem is that it is a TQFN package, something you don’t wan’t to play with!
    Impossible to solder with your normal solering iron!

  8. x1140710 says:

    this is awesome and ide totally buy one…if it wasnt 80 F**king dollars

  9. mike says:

    why not just use the bsod screen saver? Thats a classic prank.

  10. nachowarrior says:

    too bad the bsod at the olympics wasn’t caused by this…

  11. Frogz says:

    this is why prototype this wasnt pure win
    with that, it would have been renewed for 4 seasons after the first episode

    why couldnt this have been on tv instead…direct vga bluescreen is somethiung actually useful!

  12. treg says:

    Wow, if this thing can synch to the computer’s refresh rate and resolution, it means that it can make instant image switching, adding some 1/100 seconds subliminal picture while you are doing anything on your computer… scarry :(

  13. Richard says:

    The idea of subliminal goatse is truly scary… your victim would just sit there feeling vaguely disgusted, but have absolutely no idea why…

    The ‘headgames’ possibilities are endless. >:-)

  14. Tralli says:


  15. jim says:


  16. homergonerson says:

    amazing idea :) surely someone could set it up to do that.

    and also, one thing i noticed. when i was watching prototype this, the camera showed you a glimpse of the code, and it looked like joe was using c or c++, but the source on the site is in basic

  17. dnm says:

    pcairic: Quit your whining. It’s just goofing around. Fuck you ‘PC’ (and I mean politically correct) types are whiny.

  18. octelcogopod says:

    ew, that pcb looks gross. someone explain to this guy how to remove flux residue

  19. View says:

    Personally, i’d make this into a VGA – DVI convertor, then put it in plastic casing, then give it to your victim. They’d just assume it was a normal part.

  20. Kingpin says:

    @darkfader: Some VGA ports offer +5V on one of the pins, but it’s not a required part of the standard, so we couldn’t rely on that for power input. No, the image turns off when the PC is powered off, since we monitor the HSYNC signal coming from the computer and when that stops, we assume the system has been rebooted or restarted and we revert back to harmless “pass through” mode. That will make the unit harder to detect and allows you to continue to screw with your target for as long as you’d like.

    @octelcogopod: Go flux yourself. So sorry I didn’t clean up my prototype circuit board just for you. Boo hoo.

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