Hackit: Ideal conference badge?

assembly

In 2006, Defcon 14 premiered a unique electronic badge. All it did was blink, but it raised the bar for what was expected from a hacker conference badge. In 2007, they went from 2 LEDs to 95 in a scrolling marquee. Along with a POV mode, the badge had two capacitive switches to let the user edit the displayed text. Defcon 16′s badge featured an IR transmitter and receiver for transferring files from an SD card. It worked as a TV-B-Gone and had pads to access a USB bootloader. That was the same year that The Last Hope debuted their RFID tracking badges.

This year the official Defcon badge reacted to sound, but they were no longer the only game in town. Ninja Networks brought their 10 character party badges with a built in debugger. The Arduino compatible HackTheBadge 1.0 also made an appearance. With these new entrants into the field, we wondered what you’d want to see in your ideal badge. What badge would you want to see at next year’s Defcon? Leave you comments below and keep in mind that it should be an idea that is easy to cheaply mass produce.

UPDATED: Forgot to mention the Neighborcon 2 badge based on the GoodFET20.

[Photo: Ninja Networks]

HackTheBadge 1.0

hb_bw_prev_s (Custom)

[Martin] tipped us off to HackTheBadge 1.0. Possibly more elusive than the NinjaBadge, HackTheBadge has a Dpad, a 3×5 LED matrix, Arduino compatable headers, and 46 GPIO channels. You can download the open source plans if you didn’t get one at Defcon. You probably didn’t, there were only 14 given out. You can also order one pre assembled.  This makes us wonder, does being low in quantity qualify this as elusive?

Ninja Networks Party Badge

ninjabadge

UPDATE: The director’s cut of the story

While coverage of the official Defcon badge has been pretty heavy, there was a badge that was far more exclusive and talked about way more. For the last ten years at Defcon a group of hackers known as Ninja Networks hosted an invitation-only party for selected attendees. For the 2009 event, [cstone] and [w0z] created an electronic badge which acted as the ticket to the party. The badge is based around an 8-bit Freescale microcontroller (MC9S08QE8) which drives 10 individual 16-segment HIOX-format LED displays. [Read more...]

Defcon 17: Badge hacking

joegrand

Following up on their post about the new Defcon 17 badges, Wired recently posted some of the best badge hacks of the con. Among the hacks featured were an LED frequency meter hack, a sound seeking dirigible powered by three badges, and a wireless geiger counter random number generator that sent random numbers back to a laptop equipped with a zigbee card. Probably one of the most impressive hacks mentioned, the hack that won the badge hacking contest, was the LED equipped baseball cap modeled above by [Joe Grand], Defcon’s defacto badge designer.

The hacked badge is connected to the cap by an ethernet cable, where the LEDs pulse on and off in order to defeat facial recognition systems. The cap’s designer told Wired that he initially designed the cap in order to sneak into [Grand]‘s room to steal the über badges under his protection. Needless to say, the winner doesn’t have to worry about stealing the badges anymore as he was awarded his own über badge at the award ceremony. While we’re not completely sure who pulled off this awesome hack, we congratulate you and all of the participants of the badge hacking contest on your fantastic hacks.

Update: We’ve confirmed that the badge contest winner was in fact [Zoz Brooks], [Grand]‘s co-star on the popular Discovery channel  show Prototype This. From all indications, his hack seems to be legitimate and not a clever idea, however we are still looking to confirm this. Also, even though Wired’s article stated that the dirigible was sound seeking, we have confirmed that it is sound avoiding. Thank’s to everyone in the comments for pointing these things out.

Defcon 17: Badge details released

humanbadge

Defcon is upon us once again, and that can only mean one thing: new badge designs. Our friends over at Wired posted the picture above along with a description of this year’s new badge. Since our last post, there has been little new information released regarding the components used for the new badge. However, we now know that it utilizes a microphone and a full color LED along with the Freescale mc56f8006, an advanced digital signal processing microcontroller. [Grand], the badge designer, told Wired that while this year’s design is a bit simplified compared to last year’s design, it is not nearly as easy to hack. Just like last year, the functionality of the badge hasn’t been announced yet. We’re hoping for some kind of communicator. Be sure to check out Wired’s article if you want to see the high res pictures.

Defcon 17: early badge details

had_badge1

Every year, the Defcon badge takes a technological step forward. The details are starting to emerge for this years hardware lineup. Last years badge, pictured above, had LED status indicators and an IR transceiver. There’s no telling what this years badge will do, but we do know it has a new processor. They have chosen the Freescale MC56F8006 to build everything around this year. We think it would be cool to see some RFID, maybe a heat map of the traffic in the facility. Maybe some distributed computing would be cool. What could we do with an embedded camera? We eagerly await more details.

Messing with barcodes

stencil

[nico] just received his credentials for an upcoming conference. On each badge, there’s a 2D barcode with the participant’s bio and contact info. These are meant to be scanned by vendors for future contact. [nico] isn’t so interested in that and plans on updating his personal info by generating a new barcode. To this end, he’s collected a number of links to help out barcode hackers. He used the SWIPE toolkit to identify the format and decode (it has an online component too). There are also several online encoders you can use, like this one from [Terry Burton]. If you’re wondering what sort of shenanigans you can get into faking barcodes, check out [fx]‘s presentation from 24C3.

[photo: seanbonner]