Playing hacker with a toy vault

[Thomas Cannon] created his own hacking game by adding some circuitry to this toy vault. The original toy uses the keypad to control a solenoid keeping the door shut. He kept the mechanical setup, but replaced the original circuit board with his own ATmega328 based internals. He also added a USB port to the front. The gist of the game is that you plug-in through USB to gain access to the vault’s terminal software. If you can make your way through the various levels of admin access the loot inside will be yours.


  1. BrokenTrace says:

    Just in time for Christmas!

  2. poot says:

    Meh, how about I tack a hammer against it and just make the loot mine…AHAHAHA

  3. BRIAN says:

    This would make a wicked geocache. I could see all the old people crying. LOL LOL :)

  4. Moat says:

    Neat! I’d like to see the hacking mini-game from Fallout used to open one of these.

  5. XCoder says:

    Cant you just, replace the atmegas main code, to set high every pin?

  6. lordicewind says:

    nice one! Hmmmmmm, am I guessing right by the number of asterisks there – the password of the admin is “password”? xD

  7. Myndale says:

    Cool hack! There’s a minor bug though…the vault_passwd_list array needs to be terminated with a NULL, similar to what you’re doing with the vault_cmd_set array (you can’t really rely on the compiler to do it for you).

    Can’t wait till my kid’s old enough to do fun stuff like this with him :)

  8. BitMage says:

    I want one!

  9. cde says:

    He should wire up the keypad, and add a set of 4 leds, and turn the front into a game of genius. 10 tries max, with a random password every 10 tries, or every successful try atleast. That way you can play with the vault without a computer. As a geo-cache, the old folks will still be able to use it too.

    Since I can’t find a link for genius online, its a game where you have to find an unknown password, within x number of tries. You key in 4 numbers, and leds will light up, letting you know if you got a number right, and if you got it in the right spot.

  10. doron says:
  11. M4CGYV3R says:

    “TinyCore allows you to start with a very basic graphical Linux Desktop with a terminal client and download just the packages you need from its online repository. Once downloaded those packages will be available whenever you boot it again. I won’t go into detail because it is quite straightforward,”

    Yes, now THAT’s consumer friendly. I’m sure they’ll sell like hotcakes.

  12. doron says:
  13. Rob says:


    I think its called mastermind

  14. Mi6 says:

    How can I order one? Is there real loot inside?

  15. Spork says:

    Very fun project, I want to play!
    I like to weld and have access to a CNC mill, wonder if I could come up with a hammer-proof version of this.

  16. Maave says:

    Toy vault wargames, awesome.
    Anybody know of wargame sites? I know of,, and (NetWars is serious stuff, sponsored by the gov’t)

  17. troy says:

    I just uploaded this to a spare arduino and having a hoon. Up to level 3, just trying to figure out the pin number.

  18. Whatnot says:

    Seems more productive to hack the real world and make millions, if you are spending time and effort.

  19. Merried Seinor Comic says:


  20. netshark says:

    That vault was sold by Radioshack, and I have just the older one, all gray with yellow buttons. If I ever get some free (“engineereable”) time, I’d love to give it a try.

    Is there a way to use this code into a “normal” AVR without an arduino card? I normally use bare AVRs with a simple ISP programmer.

  21. Gadono! says:

    this project totally rocks! can’t wait to do it myself when i have the time

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