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HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

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  • HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

    TL;DR: I have setup a game at DefCon that encourages people to learn new things and meet new people. If you want to help make it more awesome, please keep reading.

    HHV Kit Goals:
    - Sell a cheap ($5 to $10) kit for people to learn to solder in the HHV.
    - The assembled kit should be something immediately useful and fun.
    - The assembled kit should encourage further learning, not just hardware.
    - The assembled kit should encourage communication, meeting new people and making new friends.
    - Have lots of them on hand so, hopefully, we don't run out. I'd rather come back next year with left-over kits than run out.

    I have designed a small PCB with:
    - 3 different colored "LEDs", a red one, clear purple, and opaque black (?)
    - 3 resistors
    - An 8 pin chip (ATtiny85)
    - A 7 pin header (with a "?" next to it. A SEVEN pin header? WTF is this? ;-)
    - A battery and clip.

    All through-hole, except the battery clip. Parts costs about $5 in quantity of 100, less in larger quantities. Once assembled and powered, the red LED starts blinking morse code with a message telling the player to contact a particular twitter account (I might replace/add to this with something else, Jabber, Email, AIM, etc) with a unique key for that chip. A bot on that Twitter account knows all the keys and can identify the particular chip and associates it with the player's Twitter/Jabber/Email/AIM account, and awards points for successfully assembling their board. It will follow the user and ask that they follow it back so they can DM. It offers to establish a handle with the user if they don't wish their Twitter account to be made public. It then tells the player to find OTHER players and to "connect" with them.

    As you have probably guessed, the purple and black "LEDs" are an IR LED and phototransistor pair. When players "connect" two boards, they'll perform a small exchange and generate a cryptographic code (yes, crypto on an ATtiny...) that is unique to the pairing of those two chips. The morse code adds the new code to the output to send to the Twitter bot. When the player sends the new message to the twitter bot, it congratulates the player for meeting the other player (by handle) and awards more points.

    The 7 pin header was a row of 3 pins and a row of 4 pins. The 2x3 area is an ICSP. The 1x4 area is a TTL-to-USB header that works with the PropPlug. (Handy how adding a single ground pin next to an ICSP will work with the PropPlug...) Yes, there are Easter Eggs hidden in here. :-D

    ---

    All this, Namniart and I already did last year. Anonymously, we made about 100 kits and gave them away in the HHV to get people who wouldn't have otherwise bothered to learn to solder, to get people who wouldn't have otherwise made it there over to the wireless village to find a ham to teach them morse code, and to get people to meet others they wouldn't have otherwise met. Of the 100 kits we gave out, we got about 10 active players with who we communicated after the con, helping them reverse engineer the boards and chips. Even with such a small group playing, we, and the players, were very excited about what we were starting to build.

    We tried to remain anonymous because of the narrative we were using for the game (loosely based on the book "Daemon" and "Freedom(TM)" by Daniel Suarez). We were the Daemon trying to establish a darknet at DefCon. (Read the books, this will make much more sense.) https://dcdark.net/ is the site, https://twitter.com/dcdarknet is the Twitter account. However, Namniart and I discussed it and have come to the conclusion that we realistically won't make this game nearly as awesome as we want it to be on our own. We've been trying to get this game live since 2010 and just barely made the kits, a very SMALL part of the whole game, happen last year. So we've decided to give up on anonymity and open this to a larger community to see if others want to help.

    When Bombnav started talking about a small/cheap kit for the HHV, I decided to bring our game out and propose we merge these two. We will open source the work we've done so far: release the hardware design and firmware code, and the twitter bot code. We will need others to pitch in and help make this more awesome. We can use:

    - Game Designers, Puzzle Makers, Teachers, Hackers, and anyone else that has an idea for a challenge we could add to the game.
    - Authors. The hardest part Namniart and I had was developing a cohesive narrative tying different challenge elements together.
    - Application developers to help expand the Twitter/Jabber/Email/AIM/etc bot. There are MANY more features to add.
    - Web developers to help make a better webpage than what I've build at https://dcdark.net/, including a UI to the Daemon to manage one's own account.
    - Firmware Developers to help with a larger HHV kit idea I have that would enter into the game in a fun way. :-)

    This year, I want to add a button to the kit to let people specify which code they want transmitted, maybe change the morse code speed, that sort of thing. I think I can do that and still keep it within $10, possibly within $5 depending on several factors.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

    I think this is a great idea. What other challenge elements did you have in mind, besides building and pairing the devices? What were the challenges last year? I see from the dcdark.net page the leader board, what did "Smitty" do to get 65 versus "hamster" with 30?

    I would love to help contribute I'm not very strong on micro-controllers, but I could help with content or authoring. I would certainly be participating if this idea gets traction, which I hope it does.

    4a.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

      Originally posted by 4a52 View Post
      I think this is a great idea. What other challenge elements did you have in mind, besides building and pairing the devices? What were the challenges last year? I see from the dcdark.net page the leader board, what did "Smitty" do to get 65 versus "hamster" with 30?

      I would love to help contribute I'm not very strong on micro-controllers, but I could help with content or authoring. I would certainly be participating if this idea gets traction, which I hope it does.

      4a.
      Gah! I thought I responded to this already.. Apparently not.

      The game is open-ended. The hardware I describe is just one quest of a much larger plan. As an example, I was going to create a quest that would teach the players how to crack WEP. Or a quest that would have them use Solitare to communicate secretely in a public forum. Or have them look for a geo-cache in the convention area. Or pick a lock to get to something. Or... etc. You get the idea.

      The good thing with how we're doing this is that, once the world and narrative is established, anyone can create a quest in that world that would have the players learn something new and gain points for it.

      DM me an email address and I'll add you to the volunteer list so we can plan this out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

        Err, you already did DM me your email. Nevermind! :-D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

          I would like to help with any Application Development work as needed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HHV Kit: DefCon Darknet Project

            Just got around to this post but as a noob (and teacher) wanted to share what a great idea I think this is. Definitely a wonderful way to get folks interested in areas of the con and technology they might not have previousely spent a whole lot of time on. The idea of individual quests existing within the world makes it easy for other folks to get involved and add to the overall experience using what they know and have a passion to share.

            Let me know what you guys need in the way of assistance. Don't know that I can be must help on the hardware side but whether it's passing out materials, writing back story, or doing grunt work you can count me in.

            Comment

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