Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

7/29/2013
08:37 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DEF CON Kids To Get Badges That Hack

Who says grown-ups should have all the fun with their DEF CON badges?

If the shiny LED light on my DEF CON badge suddenly go dark this week at the hacker conference, I'll know who to blame. Not some security researcher or stealthy hacker messing with me or other members of the press. Nope. It'll be a tween -- or younger -- who bricks my badge's blinky light.

DEF CON Kids, now in its third year and renamed r00tz kids at DEF CON, is giving the first 175 kids who register for this year's conference, which opens this Friday in Las Vegas, a specially crafted badge that lets them do some hands-on hacking of their own -- including shutting down or selecting the color of the LED on a member of the press' badge, as well as Mom and Dad's. (Note to fellow nervous members of the press: The kid has to be at least six feet away from you to control your badge.)

Security expert James Arlen, a senior consultant at Leviathan Security Group, and his 11-year-old daughter, Amelia, are designing the badges, which Arlen (Dad) says is actually more complex than any of the previous DEF CON badges for grown-ups.

"It is the first, as far as we can tell, conference badge equipped with six co-processors slaved to a master processor. It also puts out a significant amount of light with all of the LEDs firing. Also, it utilizes the now common Arduino platform" to make it simple for the kids to do their own programming of the device, Arlen says.

There's a flashlight function on the badge, too, thanks to Amelia, who has been heavily involved with the hands-on assembly of the badges. She was up until 2 a.m. one night "picking and placing" LEDs onto the boards, Arlen says.

What does Amelia have planned for her dad's badge? "Apparently, his is special, so you can't do anything to it," she says, audibly disappointed.

Out of the box, the r00tz kids at DEF CON badge comes with a trackball, a speaker, a white LED, programmable color LEDs, and an infrared receiver. The kids will also get a joystick and wires to modify the wiring of their badges, and some other nifty surprises for customizing their badges.

There's also a speaker element that can be used to detect or create vibration. A kid could program her badge to unlock a door if someone uses the "magic" knock sequence, for instance. Kids will also be able to set up their badges to communicate with one another and play games.

In the end, each kid's badge will probably end up looking and operating differently, Arlen says. "I doubt any kid will be running the same personality for the badge," he says.

Vendor partners behind the kid badges are AT&T, Lookout, .secure, and Wickr, as well as hardware support and supplies from Parallax, Atmel, Element14/Newark, and Instructables.

r00tz has an honor code for its up-and-coming young hackers that spells out the a hacking for good credo. "Only hack things you own," the honor code says. "Do not hack anything you rely on. Respect the rights of others. Know the law and the possible risk and consequences for breaking it. Find a safe playground."

The conference is for kids between 8 and 16 years old.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
CVE-2020-16170
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.
CVE-2020-17487
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
radare2 4.5.0 misparses signature information in PE files, causing a segmentation fault in r_x509_parse_algorithmidentifier in libr/util/x509.c. This is due to a malformed object identifier in IMAGE_DIRECTORY_ENTRY_SECURITY.