How does one become a "hardware hacker"?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by keine, Nov 13, 2010.

Nov 13, 2010
  1. keine
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    Member keine GBAtemp Fan

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    A "hardware hacker" A Hector Martin.
    For example, a hardware hacker can reverse a Kinect and then make it do what they want it to. One Hector Martin.

    Martin said he was going to use the "prize money on more tools and devices for additional hardware-hacking."
    What does that entail?
    What knowledge is needed to reverse engineer hardware in such a manner.
    Resources? Books? Tools?
    I'm sure a hardware hacker like Martin could apply his knowledge to the DSTwo, if he wanted to.

    Where does hardware hacking hit the cryptology wall? Where does it fade into programming?

    I was thinking about posting this to the GBATemp question/answer. Do you think that appropriate?
     
  2. Anne Noise

    Member Anne Noise GBAtemp Regular

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    Just learning "hacking" is kind of broad. What exactly do you want to do? Cryptology is fascinating, but difficult and time-consuming to learn and play. (For me, at least.) I've only dabbled, so I can't help with learning or resources or anything - not my forte or passion - but I know some background and coding stuff. I can helps with whats I gots.

    Is Kinect / console hacking an example in general, or an example of what you want to learn?
     
  3. keine
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    What I want to learn. I find all console hacking extremely fascinating.
    I'm sorry about the broad question.
     
  4. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I am not going to pretend to be even remotely knowledgable on the subject, but here goes what I do know. Hacking is a very broad subject. One end of it is reverse engineering. The very first step in hacking any sort of device is this. You have to find out what makes it tick. Back in the beginning of the PC reveloution, the proprietary IBM Bios chip had to be reverse engineered. When you figure out what makes it tick, you can then proceed to make it do what you want. Look no further than the Wii for an example.

    After a few hacks, instead of it becoming a skill, it becomes an instinct. After you hack a few things, you automatically know where to check for exploits first. It is kind of like doing an unfamiliar trick... like a back flip. Once you do it a few times, the body picks up on how you made it work, and strives to replicate the same movement every time.

    The other end of hacking is pushing the limits of a device until something abnormal happens. Most peole don't consider bug testing hacking, because they all limit their definition of "Hacking" to some sort of hardware.

    I don't have any experience in hacking, I only know what I read, and see on the internet or T.V.
     
  5. Anne Noise

    Member Anne Noise GBAtemp Regular

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    Very true. Practice leads to understanding leads to increased problem solving and creative thinking. Anyone can follow a tutorial, but if you want to just... explore and gain knowledge, you also have to gain the mindset and logic skills.
     
  6. exangel

    Member exangel executioner angel

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    didnt even scan responses much though usually read a thread fully before i respond.
    in the example you made keine i imagine he had a deep understanding of USB protocol and its application with Human Interface Devices which probably has fuck all to do with what a DSTwo does
     
  7. SifJar

    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    Fantastic link: http://ladyada.net/learn/diykinect/

    Read that, should be pretty informative for learning about hacking USB devices at least.

    EDIT: Another good link: http://lostscrews.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=50 - more about hacking devices (in the example, its a portable media player), rather than USB stuff or whatever.

    This is also a very informative post : http://gbatemp.net/t204149-psp-hacking?vie...t&p=2541305, including many links which I think should be pretty helpful to a wannabe hacker. (One or two links may be dead, but the majority seem to work and look pretty decent)
     
  8. Goveynetcom

    Newcomer Goveynetcom Member

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    There is no all-in-one solution to hacking hardware in any situation.
    It all has to do with your ability to analyze said hardware (possibly disassemble it down to the chips) and begin work there.
    Having knowledge of how certain interfaces is definitely very useful (such as USB), but it depends on what exactly you are tackling.
    Another useful thing is being able to break software down to the assembly level, most of the work you would do interacting or coding with devices has to be done at that level, and possibly a higher level language to make it easier to manipulate.

    The point is, you have to be able to carefully analyze what you are dealing with and tackle it one step at a time. It's not that clear cut, but then again, hacking usually never is.
     
  9. keine
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    Incredible links SifJar. Thanks to everyone so far. Appreciate it. FAST6191's post is of course pure brilliance.
     
  10. SifJar

    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    As often his (/her?) are.
     
  11. MasterPenguin

    Member MasterPenguin GBAtemp Fan

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    I suggest you go to college for Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering so you understand how things work. Then you'll find reversing things a lot easier.
     

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