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OpenBridge Demolab at DEF CON 29

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  • OpenBridge Demolab at DEF CON 29

    Tool or Project Name: Open Bridge Simulator

    Short Abstract:
    Open Bridge Simulator provides a platform to explore the NMEA 2000 protocol, maritime electronics and CAN interfaces in a cost effective (under $50) software/hardware suite.

    Short Developer Bio:
    Constantine is an instructor at the US Coast Guard Academy where he teaches Cyber Systems. On the side he breaks things...

    URL to any additional information:

    Detailed Explanation of Tool:
    Over the years I have built various tools that pull data from and put data on the NMEA 2000 maritime electronics bus. From talking boats (Twitter @CES_bigAl) to a network of connected recreational vessels. It was always a struggle because of the somewhat obscure nature of the application (boats/yachts/ships) and the difficulty and cost in obtaining hardware and tools to learn about the systems. Open Bridge Simulator is an open source project (software and eventually hardware) that aims to make this process more cost effective and obtainable to individuals without $10,000 laying around to purchase expensive maritime electronics.

    The demo lab will involve:
    • Reviewing the NMEA 2000 protocol
    • Seeing the simulator and estimated cost of the system produced by the US Coast Guard Academy Capstone team ( an example of an expensive solution)
    • Reviewing the architecture of a standard NMEA 2000 network (with live devices)
    • The traditional means of interacting with the NEMA 2000 network
    • An introduction and demo of the Open Bridge Simulator software and hardware
    I also intend to cover some of the challenges we faced in developing this project as well as ways we can work together to make learning about NMEA 2000 more inclusive.

    The general project will be using off the shelf hardware (Teensy 4.1, WCMCU-230 Can Transceiver) to interface with Docker containers that simulate different marine electronics so a user with less than $50 in hardware can simulate an entire bridge system on almost any computer. The project is designed to be a framework to allow individuals to share the devices they build and create a library of bridge systems that can be connected to simulate industry accurate systems.

    This project can stand alone or interface with an existing system and can act as an educational tool, defense and simulation tool or prove out attacks.

    The overall goal of Open Bridge Simulator is to make playing with NMEA 2000 easier!

    Target Audience: Hardware, Education, Defense

    The purpose of this project is to make learning and playing with NMEA2000 more reasonable and affordable for beginners and those without access to expensive hardware (like GPS head units). I think that reducing the cost and barrier to entry will bring more people into the space and shine a light onto a somewhat obscure and difficult area to get started.
    PGP key: valid 2020 Jan 15, to 2024 Jan 01 Fingerprint: BC5B CD9A C609 1B6B CD81 9636 D7C6 E96C FE66 156A