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Introduction to Radio Hacking

Published: 06 August 2021    Last Updated: 03 July 2023

In my introduction to hardware hacking, I mention that radio systems may be part of the attack surface for a hardware device penetration test. So I thought I’d give a gentle introduction to hacking with an SDR here!

Firstly, what’s an SDR? It stands for software-defined radio, and refers to a category of devices which allow you to interface with radio. There are a lot of SDR devices on the market to choose from when you first get started – a RTL-SDR can be picked up for £15 and devices from Ettus Research go well into the thousands of pounds.

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An Introduction to Hardware Hacking

Published: 06 August 2021    Last Updated: 05 July 2023

I’m currently writing up a series on hardware hacking fundamentals, and before I get into the specifics – I thought it sensible to add a piece on why hardware security is important and to lay out the major themes of what I’ll be discussing.

Firstly, with physical devices, threat actors have more options when it comes to attacking the devices and it should be noted that breaking a specific device might not be the final aim. As an attacker over the internet, I only have exposed network services to “play” with, but if I’m testing a physical device the attack surface can be much wider. With options including network services, radio frequency input/output, on-chip debugging, exposed serial ports, memory extraction, etc, etc.

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