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Hands-on Hardware Hacking and Reverse Engineering

Joe Grand, Grand Idea Studio, Inc.
November 10-11


This course teaches hardware hacking and reverse engineering techniques commonly used against electronic products and embedded systems. It is a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises covering the hardware hacking process, proper use of tools and test measurement equipment, circuit board analysis and modification, embedded security, and common hardware attack vectors. The course concludes with a final hardware hacking challenge in which students must apply what they've learned in the course to defeat the security mechanism of a custom circuit board. The main goal of this course is to give students the resources and skills they need to confidently approach hardware exploitation and to come up with creative solutions for their own particular engagements. It has been taught at Black Hat since 2005 and is continually updated with new techniques and relevant examples.

A full course outline can be found at http://www.grandideastudio.com/portfolio/hardware-hacking-training/.

Who Should Take this Course

The course aims to educate everyone, including computer security researchers, digital forensic investigators, design engineers, and senior management. Whether you already have some experience with hacking hardware, are looking to expand the capabilities of your organization, or would like to learn how hackers may be reverse engineering your products, this course will be of benefit.

Student Requirements

No prior electronics or security experience is required. Expect to leave the course with a smile on your face, a hacked circuit board in your hand, and a set of skills for attacking hardware products.

What Students Should Bring

Students should bring their own laptop running Windows (or equivalent virtual machine) and containing a functional USB interface. The laptop will be used for online research and to control test equipment. Software and drivers will need to be installed.

What Students Will Be Provided With

  • Course presentation (in printed and electronic format) and hardware hacking/embedded security reference material
  • Grand Idea Studio's custom hardware hacking training circuit board (one for each student to keep)
  • Electronics and hardware hacking tools, including a soldering iron, multimeter, logic analyzer/oscilloscope, and device programmer
  • Safety gear
  • All other tools, components, and circuitry necessary for the course


Joe Grand is a product designer, hardware hacker, and the founder of Grand Idea Studio (www.grandideastudio.com). He specializes in the invention and design of consumer products and modules for electronics hobbyists. Joe is a sought after speaker for his work on the reverse engineering and security analysis of embedded systems and is an active contributor to computer security conferences around the world. Formerly known as Kingpin, Joe was a member of the legendary hacker group L0pht Heavy Industries and has testified before the United States Senate Governmental Affairs Committee regarding government and homeland computer security. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Boston University and a Doctorate of Science in Technology (Honorary) degree from the University of Advancing Technology.