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Joe Grand's Hands-on Hardware Hacking Training

Joe Grand, Grand Idea Studio, Inc. | December 4 - 5


Interested in hardware hacking, but don't know where to start? This class, taught by world-renowned engineer and hacker Joe Grand, brings you through the techniques commonly used to reverse engineer and defeat the security of electronic devices. Having premiered in 2005, it is the longest running hardware hacking training in the industry and is continually updated to reflect current trends.

This comprehensive introductory class covers the hardware hacking process, including product teardown, component identification, circuit board reverse engineering, soldering and desoldering, signal monitoring and analysis, and memory extraction. It concludes with a final challenge where you'll attempt to defeat the security mechanism of a custom electronic device.

Through the combination of lecture and hands-on exercises, you'll gain the skills, resources, and confidence needed to explore, manipulate, and exploit electronic systems. No prior hardware experience is required.

1. Hardware Hacking Overview

2. Information Gathering

3. Product Teardown
  • Opening housings
  • Anti-tamper mechanisms
  • Component identification
  • Schematics and PCBs

4. Soldering and Desoldering

5. Buses and Interfaces
  • Identifying interfaces
  • Determining pin function
  • Signal monitoring/analysis

6. Signal/Data Manipulation

7. Memory and Firmware
  • Extracting/modifying memory contents
  • Firmware analysis tools/techniques

8. Other Attack Vectors

9. Hardware Hacking Challenge

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

Who Should Take this Course

This class is for anyone interested in hardware hacking, including security researchers, digital forensic investigators, design engineers, and executive management. Whether you are looking to expand the capabilities of your organization or would like to understand how hackers may be reverse engineering your products, this class is a great starting point.

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 new set of skills for attacking hardware products.

What Students Should Bring

Students must provide their own computer running Windows (administrator access required, within a virtual machine is OK) and containing a functional USB interface. 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

  • Hardware hacking tools, including a soldering iron, multimeter, logic analyzer, and device programmer

  • Grand Idea Studio's custom training circuit board (one for each student to keep)


Joe Grand is a product designer, hardware hacker, and the founder of Grand Idea Studio. He specializes in the invention and design of electronic devices. Formerly known as Kingpin, Joe was a member of the legendary hacker group L0pht Heavy Industries, where he helped raise awareness of computer security vulnerability research and disclosure. Joe has spent more than a decade discovering security flaws in embedded systems and teaching others how to reverse engineer such systems. 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