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44CON 2017 has ended
Friday, September 15 • 11:30 - 13:29
Matt Knight & Marc Newlin - How to Hack Radios: Hands-On with RF Physical Layers

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The Age of the Radio is upon us: wireless protocols are a dime a dozen thanks to the explosion of mobile devices and the Internet of Things. While proprietary wireless solutions may offer performance benefits and cost savings over standards like 802.11 or Bluetooth, their security features are rarely well-exercised due to a lack of access to these interfaces. The adoption of Software Defined Radio (SDR) by the security research community has helped shift this balance, however SDR remains a boutique skillset. Join us as we lift the veil on SDR and show that a PhD is not needed to pwn the Internet of Things’ Radios.

This workshop offers an applied tutorial on how to apply Software Defined Radio, with an emphasis on the “Radio” part. Rather than glazing over RF basics, we will frame our entire discussion about reverse engineering wireless systems around digital radio fundamentals.

We begin with an offensively short crash course in digital signal processing and RF communication, covering just enough to be dangerous, before introducing a reverse engineering workflow that can be applied to just about any IoT wireless system. The bulk of this session will demonstrate how this workflow can be applied to recover and inject packets from/into a variety of devices with proprietary modulations by walking through it, live and in detail, with attendees actively contributing to reverse-engineered solutions and working along in parallel.

Attendees should expect to walk away with practical knowledge of how to apply SDR to examine and deconstruct proprietary wireless protocols. We encourage attendees to bring along their own SDR hardware, though we’ll provide a handful of RTL-SDRs and live USB images for those who lack equipment. Finally, we will release all GNU Radio flowgraph templates and shell scripts for further hacking and development.


Friday September 15, 2017 11:30 - 13:29
*Workshop*

Attendees (11)