Defcon 16: Badge Details Released

Defcon will once again be one-upping the sophistication of the conference attendee badges. Wired has just published a preview of this year’s badge. The core is a Freescale Flexis MC9S08JM60 processor. The badge has an IR transmitter and receiver on the front plus eight status LEDs. On the back (pictured below), there is a mode select button, CR123A battery, Data Matrix barcode, and an SD card slot. You can add a USB port to the badge and upload code to it using the built in USB bootloader. All the dev tools needed will be included on the conference CD or you can download the IDE in advance. The low barrier to entry should lead to some interesting hacks. In previous years, you needed a special dongle to program the hardware. There is no indication as to what the badge does out of the box. Releasing the badge early is a first for Defcon and the one pictured isn’t the attendee color, but we’re sure someone will still come up with a clone.

Now comes the fun part: What do you think the best use of this badge will be? Would Defcon be so cavalier as to equip everyone in the conference with a TV-B-Gone? I think our favorite possibility is if someone finds a security hole and manages to write an IR based worm to take over all the badges.

Defcon 14 introduced the first electronic badge which blinked in different patterns. Defcon 15 had a 95 LED scrolling marquee. [Joe Grand] will be posting more specific Defcon 16 badge details to his site after the opening ceremony. Check out more high resolution photos on Wired.

[Photo: Dave Bullock]

16 thoughts on “Defcon 16: Badge Details Released

  1. I can definantly see a badge with a multi touch in it at next years defcon. maybe have a teeny tiny little projector so you can display what you are doing with the multi touch on a wall or something. very cool.

  2. Assumption – The badges can communicate freely for any extended period of time.

    Assumption – The badges bar codes are unique to the individual badge.

    Program the LEDs to flash the contents of your bar code in Morse code, and transmit the virus to other badges.

    It’d sure be easier if it used something like bluetooth, though. Maybe that’s next year’s idea.

  3. I love the idea about laser tag, I will not be able to attend unfortunately but a huge scale laser tag battle seems great, with the 8 status leds lit up showing lives – make a kill to gain a life, max of 8 last one standing wins a debug kit or summat


  4. If they could make one with bluetooth and give each person an id to propagate, it could be a very fun game of virus and defense to play, everyone could be involved, whoever had their id on the most badges at the end of the conference would win.

  5. @dakota c: Oops, looks like you’re right… I used a nokia phone, and zeros and uppercase ‘o’s look exactly the same on it.
    I tried the URL with both 3 zeros and 3 uppercase ‘o’s before posting, and both gave me a 404, so I just assumed they were all zeros, d’oh! Didn’t think of trying zeros and Os combined. Well done!

  6. Bag ‘o badge parts and a blank Defcon16 CD make for a bad day. I got back to the house, opened my badge and put the battery in…nada. Swapped for a ‘fresh’ battery…nada. Looked in the bag and found the pieces parts that should’ve been attached to the board. NP. Check the CD for circuit, components and parts placement…NOT! The CD is blank. DOA badge and CD, what’re the odds of that happening in Vegas?

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.