My Hardware Hacking rant.

A common problem I see in the so-called "hacking" world is the common belief that if you cant code in C# and write your own exploits in Assembly that you are not a true hacker. I say this is a giant load. I tend to agree that super human black hats do certainly posses these skills, but that's not really the only form of hacking much less the original one.

Looking back in history the first true hackers (or so as I interpret it) are the Ham radio guys. Aside from the fact that radio existed long before software existed, These are the guys that were cracking open hardware to salvage crystals, tubes, and whatever else they could to build or modify other equipment to fit their needs.

These guys would "hack" together Antenna's out of old bails of wire, baluns with pvc from the trash, and then connect it into a radio that had so many mods it looked like a rats nest to the common fool. They were converting CB radios to transmit on ham bands, building linear amps from scratch, and most certainly driving their significant others crazy with countless hours keying up, causing interference (wiki spark transmitter) as well as various outages prototyping their way to fully featured and functional devices. Or at least that is to say, to devices that fit their specific needs. These guys were frying circuits, probing everything they could stick a multimeter in, and fabricating everything from PCB's to hand made resisters.

I state all of this for the sheer fact that hardware hacking is so commonly overlooked. Sites such as Hackaday, intructables, and the guys over at Make all seem to have their heads in the right places. If you have never taken the time to look over a Make zine, you are truly missing out.

The problem with hardware is that most people have some sort of disconnect at this point in time understanding that hardware is indeed more logical and concrete then software. This is in part why is spend more time digging over datasheets and technical info then I spend trying to read code and interpret what someone meant to do, versus what they are actually doing. While I do truly love security in all facets, for me software takes the back seat. I will admit, that hardware hacks aren't exactly what most "hackers" are looking for (good luck with a hardware fully remote root exploit), bypassing a hardware based electronic lock via a "hack" to gain local access to the same servers, nets a very similar result: You're IN!

Hardware hacking is just plain fun. It can be anywhere from dirt cheap (ie, trash cheap) and easy to extremely expensive and direly complex. If you were the kid that always enjoyed taking things apart to see how it works you can understand the thrill of looking at the guts of any device.

I am currently putting together some information for the site regarding how to get started in hardware, what you will need, and where to go from there but wanted to drop this preface first to see what kind of responses I get. If there is little or no interest on the site regarding a healthy dose of hardware modding, sniffing busses, and reversing devices then I may post much less or none of the information.

Tentatively I will start off with a basic intro to Arduino Development. I'd like to start there because this is a fairly common platform with plenty of information available on the web to help you build your skills. From there info on how to re-purpose or salvage parts for your projects on the cheap, and eventually I would really like to get you all some information on the many uses of the bus pirate, as well as a bit on adding features or functionality to various individual devices.

So there's my rant.