Hardware Hacking Basics

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Overview

This two-day comprehensive course, from the world renown hardware hacker Joe Grande, teaches fundamental hardware hacking concepts and techniques used to reverse engineer and defeat the security of electronic devices.

Combining lecture and hands-on exercises, it provides students with the skills, resources, and confidence needed to explore, manipulate, and exploit electronic systems. This course only available as a private class, taught virtually or in-person, minimum participation 12 learners.

Learners will be provided with the following course materials:
  • Grand Idea Studio;s custom training circuit board (one for each student to keep)
  • Lecture slides (in electronic format)
  • Hardware hacking reference material and software tools (in electronic format)
  • Hardware hacking equipment, including soldering iron, multi-meter, logic analyser, and device programmer.
Additional advanced hardware hacking courses are available upon request for private delivery, for 12 minimum participants.
  • Firmware Extraction and Manipulation
  • Defeating Microcontroller Code Protection
  • Hardware Implants and Espionage
Prerequisites

No prior hardware experience is required.

Delegates will learn how to
  • Describe and understand the hardware hacking process, mindset, and purpose
  • Hands-on experience with useful and relevant techniques
  • Confidence to apply learned skills to electronic systems outside the classroom
Outline

Module 1 - Hardware Hacking Overview
  • Overview of hardware hacking
Module 2 - Information Gathering
  • How to gather information before you start hardware hacking
Module 3 - Product Teardown

Opening housings
  • Product assembly/disassembly methods
  • Anti-tamper mechanisms
  • Hands-on exercise: Defeat epoxy encapsulation
Component identification
  • Discrete components
  • Integrated circuits
  • Finding and reading data sheets
  • Hands-on exercise: Identify target components
Module 4 - Schematics and PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards)
  • Creating/reading schematics
  • PCB construction/fabrication methods
  • Hands-on exercise: Modify target PCB
Module 5 - Soldering and Desoldering
  • Tips/techniques
  • Hands-on exercise: Soldering
  • Hands-on exercise: Desoldering
Module 6 - Buses and Interfaces

Identifying interfaces

Determining pin function
  • Hands-on exercise: Measurements w/ multi-meter
  • Hands-on exercise: Create block diagram/schematic
Signal monitoring and analysis
  • Tools/techniques
  • Serial communications interfaces (UART, I2C, SPI)
  • Hands-on exercise: Signal monitoring w/ logic analyser
  • Hands-on exercise: Digital decoding w/ logic analyser
  • Hands-on exercise: Interactive console via UART
Module 7 - Signal/Data Manipulation
  • Tools/techniques/examples
  • Debug interfaces (vendor-specific, JTAG)
  • Fault injection/glitching overview
Module 8 - Memory and Firmware
  • Memory types
  • Hands-on exercise: Extract/modify data from EEPROM
  • Security/code protection bypass examples
  • Firmware analysis tools/techniques
Module 9 - Hardware Hacking Challenge

Apply the knowledge and skills learned in the course to defeat the security mechanism of a custom electronic device.

Testimonials

ANONYMOUS

This was one of the best training classes I have ever been to. The instructor;s emphasis on design philosophies and systematic deconstruction provided me with a clear hacking flowchart.

ANONYMOUS

Joe Grand;s passion, enthusiasm, and command of the class is inspiring in itself.

ANONYMOUS

Outstanding course. Joe was a great instructor and made the course very friendly, informative and enjoyable!

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