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  • Hardware hacking contest?

    Just throwing the idea out there.

    I envision something like what I tried to do with that VFD display (that nobody got working) where contestants are given a device and told to do X with it (something simple like 'hello world' or more complex). There would probably be more than one device, each given out sequentially with increasing difficulty.

    A tie in with the badge, Lost's contest, or other contests would be really cool.

    'Devices' could be anything from a somewhat obscure single component to an inexpensive consumer product. We also might need to require an entry fee, or some kind sponsorship (from the con or a 3rd party).

  • #2
    Re: Hardware hacking contest?

    Originally posted by KillerSpud View Post
    Just throwing the idea out there.

    I envision something like what I tried to do with that VFD display (that nobody got working) where contestants are given a device and told to do X with it (something simple like 'hello world' or more complex). There would probably be more than one device, each given out sequentially with increasing difficulty.

    A tie in with the badge, Lost's contest, or other contests would be really cool.

    'Devices' could be anything from a somewhat obscure single component to an inexpensive consumer product. We also might need to require an entry fee, or some kind sponsorship (from the con or a 3rd party).
    awesome idea. we've kicked around this sort of thing for a bit. tieshort sorta ran with it last year doing his black-box contest but this year his stuff didn't work sadly. I'd definitely be game for helping out with this. Damn those stupid VFD displays!
    afterburn

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    • #3
      Re: Hardware hacking contest?

      I found this fake alarm panel that I'm going to be screwing around with. I want to see if I can do something with it that would be useful or cool. It has some Chinese micro controller in it that I've never seen, but I'll either find an IDE for it or swap it for something else.

      It was pretty cheap too (I think $4), which would make it a prime candidate for this kind of challenge. The biggest problem that I see is trying to predict how much of this stuff to have ready at the con, or should we attempt to hold qualifiers a-la CTF? I'm not so sure that would go over very well (at least for the first year).

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      • #4
        Re: Hardware hacking contest?

        Originally posted by KillerSpud View Post
        I found this fake alarm panel that I'm going to be screwing around with. I want to see if I can do something with it that would be useful or cool.
        Reminds me of a scene in Sneakers...
        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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        • #5
          Re: Hardware hacking contest?

          Originally posted by KillerSpud View Post
          The biggest problem that I see is trying to predict how much of this stuff to have ready at the con, or should we attempt to hold qualifiers a-la CTF? I'm not so sure that would go over very well (at least for the first year).
          True this is a hard problem. Could make the kits reusable and do it somewhat like Gringo warrior where it's more a timed "how quick can you get through" sorta thing. Or...


          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
          Reminds me of a scene in Sneakers...
          ....take the Sneakers thing literally and build a course of electronic obstacles that they have to defeat! Oh well, one can still dream..

          We could also take an approach and have several small contests that different people can enter. Kind of feel the water out rather than hinging it all on one contest. I think we could add some RF stuff in for added fun. Maybe transmit a signal and they have to determine what it is. Don't tell them freq, just tell them its constantly running. LosT had a cool contest my first DEFCON for the walk on mystery challenge team. It's probably one of my top memories. We were given a bag full of LEDs and told to go build the brightest light. Trick was not all the components were LEDs and not all were in the visible spectrum. Twist tying LEDs in a variety of series/parallel combinations, recalling diode voltage drops for different colors, and running around to find a 9V battery in a time constraint was a huge rush. I had a lot of fun with that minicontest and thought that it could be made into something more. Maybe a contest similar to this where people have to rig up a quick solution to a problem with a limited amount of supplies.

          Like I said, lots of ideas, and more than willing to help!
          afterburn

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