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Custom cheap, easy and safe badges - without starting from scratch

June 22, 2024 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM


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Electronic conference badges are cool and everything, but they’re A LOT of time, money, and effort including but not limited to hardware, software and art design, testing, manufacturing, testing, provisioning, and repairing.

I’ve got a relatively simple, cheap, mass-producible badge design. We’ll start out by looking at and understanding the design and implementation, highlighting the areas worth customizing (and which to leave as-s). Then we’ll spend the majority of our time working in KiCAD to customize the hardware, CircuitPython to customize the software, or both if you have time.

We’ll wrap up with some discussion of how to handle badge logistics for events of different sizes, and warn about some of the many pitfalls that electronic badges suffer. You should walk away with the design for your own customized badge design plus everything you need to have it mass produced.

Everyone should bring a laptop and install KiCad and/or a good text editor for python code (Mu, VSCode, etc).

Joe FitzPatrick (@securelyfitz) is an Instructor and Researcher at SecuringHardware.com. Joe started his career working on low-level silicon debug, security validation, and penetration testing of CPUS, SOCs, and microcontrollers. He founded SecuringHardware.com and has spent decades developing and leading hardware security-related training, instructing hundreds of security researchers, pen-testers, hardware validators worldwide. When not teaching classes on applied physical attacks, Joe is busy developing new course content or working on contributions to the NSA Playset and other misdirected hardware projects, which he regularly presents at all sorts of fun conferences.