Hacking Dell Laptop Charger Identification

If you’ve ever had a laptop charger die, you know that they can be expensive to replace. Many laptops require you to use a ‘genuine’ charger, and refuse to boot when a knock off model is used. Genuine chargers communicate with the laptop and give information such as the power, current, and voltage ratings of the device. While this is a good safety measure, ensuring that a compatible charger is used, it also allows the manufacturers to increase the price of their chargers.

[Xuan] built a device that spoofs this identification information for Dell chargers. In the four-part series (1, 2, 3, 4), the details of reverse engineering the communications and building the spoofer are covered.

Dell uses the 1-Wire protocol to communicate with the charger, and [Xuan] sniffed the communication using a MSP430. After reading the data and verifying the CRC, it could be examined to find the fields that specify power, voltage, and current.

Next, a custom PCB was made with two Dell DC jacks and an MSP430. This passes power through the board, but uses the MSP430 to send fake data to the computer. The demo shows off a 90 W adapter pretending to run at 65 W. With this working, you could power the laptop from any supply that can meet the requirements for current and voltage.

Spoofing WiFi AP based geolocation

[Pierre Dandumont] just finished up a little project that will give Google Maps’ location feature a run for its money. It’s a technique that spoofs WiFi networks in order to relocate the positional data reported via WiFi networks.

He starts with an explanation of the different ways modern devices acquire location data. GPS is the obvious, and mobile network triangulation is pretty well know. But using WiFi networks may be a new trick for you. We’re not 100% certain but we think Google is able to look up location data based on known IP addresses for WiFi access points (this would be a good comments discussion). To trick the system all you have to do is feed some captured AP data into the computer before Google Maps tried to lock onto a location. The video after the break shows Maps with the legit location displayed. After running a quick script whose output is shown above the map position is changed to the spoofed location.

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PS3 controller spoofing advancing with leaps and bounds

Development has been progessing quite nicely on [Matlo's] PlayStation 3 controller spoofing project. This is a package that allows you to identify a PC as a PS3 controller. We know what you’re thinking: why would you want to do that? When we originally looked in on the project about a year ago we mentioned that this allows you to use any Linux-friendly peripheral as a PS3 controller. In the clip embedded below you’ll see that nothing beats a good keyboard and gaming mouse when it comes to first-person shooters. [Matlo's] solution not only allows you to use alternative control hardware, but there’s almost unlimited configurability.

And speaking of configuration, he’s done a ton of work on the GUI. After the initial package installation no terminal typing needs to be done to get the system configured. Once in place, you can set the MAC address of a Bluetooth dongle to spoof the address of your SixAxis controller. From there you can set up the button mapping, calibrate mouse hardware and the like, and even program macros (fantastic). Now go out and pwn everyone at deathmatch now that the PlayStation Network is back up and running.

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Arduino RFID spoofer

An Arduino, a spent roll of toilet paper, magnet wire, and a few passive components are what’s needed to build this RFID spoofer. It’s quick, dirty, and best of all, simple. However, [SketchSk3tch's] creation is not an RFID cloner. You must already know the hex code of the tag you want to spoof. That may or may not be as easy as using a separate tag reader.

We’ve seen some very simple RFID tag concepts. What we want is a DIY reader that is easy to build from cheap and readily available components. If you’ve got one, make with the details and tip us off about it.

Magnetic stripe card spoofer


After building a USB magnetic stripe reader, [David Cranor] has found a way to fool a magnetic stripe reader using a hand-wound electromagnet and an iPod. The data on a card is read and stored on a computer, then encoded as a WAV file using a C++ program. The iPod plays the WAV file with the data through a single-stage opamp amplifier connected to the headphone jack. The amplifier is used to drive the electromagnet. Video embedded after the jump.

By no means is this a new idea. There have been a lot of magnetic stripe projects and software. This project in particular references the 1992 Phrack article “A Day in the Life of a Flux reversal” by [Count Zero].

Don’t get your hopes up just yet on strolling through high security installations using this little device. It can only replay the data from a card that has been recorded. If you don’t have a known working card, it won’t get you very far.

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