Hackaday at DEF CON 21

DEF CON 21 Badge

I’ve arrived at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for DEF CON 21. Over the next couple of days, I’ll be talking about what I get up to here.

The main event today is registration, which means getting a neat badge. This year’s badge was designed by [Ryan Clarke]. According to the DEF CON booklet, they are “non-electronic-electronic” badges this year, and DEF CON will be alternating between electronic badges every other year.

The playing card design is printed on a PCB, and uses the silkscreen, solder mask, and copper layers to provide three colors for the artwork. The badge is a crypto challenge, featuring some cryptic characters, numbers, and an XOR gate. I don’t have any ideas about it yet, but some people are already working hard on cracking the code.

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading to a few talks including one on hacking cars that we discussed earlier, and one on decapping chips. I’ll also be checking out some of the villages. The Tamper Evident Village is premiering this year, and they’ll be showing off a variety of tamper proofing tech. I’ll also try to get to the Beverage Cooling Contraption Contest, where competitors build devices to cool beverages (ie, beer) as quickly as possible.

If you have any DEF CON tips, let me know in the comments.


  1. DualDFlipFlop says:

    Don’t forget to check out the contest area! So many shenanigans.

  2. Chris Muncy says:

    Keep your phone turned off. For that matter, any wireless devices….

  3. duckythescientist says:

    I’m so very upset that the badge doesn’t have any electronics. I was really looking forward to modding the hardware to oblivion, but now the best I can do is glue on other microcontrollers. Sigh… hopefully next year is much better.

  4. Pun says:

    The lack of electronics on that badge is no match for a drill and a soldering iron. A small microcontroller, a coin cell, and a few LEDs will give you a nice POV display, if you’re short on ideas. :)

  5. Sprite_tm says:

    Your’e at the wrong location! Ohm2013 is the place to be now! :)

  6. None says:

    Whatever it is, it looks analog to me.

  7. lloyd says:

    Why do they have a banana shaped phone on the card?

  8. Ren says:

    Are all the cards Joker?

  9. Adam says:

    Where can I buy a deck?

  10. William says:

    Be sure to check out the vendor area. Come on by we have a PolyPrinter printing DEFCON coins. (and a -very- limited supply of Isosticks)

  11. camerin says:

    I am not am not assign expert in math, but isn’t there 4 colors. so did the use 2 solder masks or two silks. if they did they are cheaters. you still had the unclad unmasked board to work with, but that is not bright white, unless they used an expensive dielectric.

  12. Rafał says:

    Is the scavenger hunt still going on?

  13. Nicholas says:

    What is the raised looking area on the inside top left corner of the red box? Looks like a larger, raised version of the symbol underneath the “J”‘s. The symbol also kind of looks like the dial on an old rotary phone.

  14. 5lug says:

    tape your lanyard with gaffer tape or duct tape, the little black clips have been breaking.. would be a shame to have to pay another $180 because it fell off whist you were drunk and not paying attention.

  15. zerberros says:

    I’m not sure but it seems to look for a phone number to connect def con (gold) with human (black).
    The phone number could be formed by the dots on some part of the card, perhaps 235 7527?

  16. Jstylen says:

    Maybe pull out a multimeter / continuity tester and start looking for hidden messages there?

  17. morganism says:

    Fone Jack sounds right,
    I would run it thru a card reader, and see if it is mag striped.

    Is prob for phreaking. Try applying some voltage in different spots, and seeing if it is a speaker for emulating key tones…

  18. None says:

    Is it an antenna of some kind?

  19. Ren says:

    DEF CON HUMAN, was there an ex-prisoner, who was hard of hearing, named “Jack” there?

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