Grand Idea Studio’s Hardware Hacking Training, taught exclusively by Joe Grand, focuses on hardware hacking and reverse engineering techniques commonly used against electronic products and embedded systems. It is a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises, culminating with students attempting to defeat the security of a custom circuit board. No prior electronics experience is required.
Our reliance on embedded systems, such as consumer wearables, mobile phones, medical devices, network infrastructure, and industrial control equipment, has become an inescapable fact of life. We need to seriously assess the security of such products, and understanding what tools are available for the job is a good place to start.
The primary purpose of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) reverse engineering is to determine electronic system or subsystem functionality by analyzing how components are interconnected. By accessing and imaging each individual copper layer of a PCB, one can begin to reconstruct a complete circuit layout.
On-chip debug (OCD) interfaces can provide chip-level control of a target device and are a primary vector used by engineers, researchers, and hackers to extract program code or data, modify memory contents, or affect device operation on-the-fly. Depending on the complexity of the target device, manually locating available OCD connections can be a difficult and time consuming task, sometimes requiring physical destruction or modification of the device.