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May 1, 2021
Bsides CBR 2021 3D CGI drawing of the badge

BSides CBR 2021 Badge Hacking – Overview

by | Electronics

It’s been a few weeks since BSides CBR 2021 but we are still hacking away at the badge that all attendees received. It’s an amazing badge with so much to learn. Before this, we had played around a bit with electronics but only very basic stuff, like the Arduino Starter Kit, some Raspberry Pis, and this pretty cool Minecraft computer called Piper that dad backed on Kickstarter years ago.

Note: We don’t know much about electronics and we have been getting a lot of help from dad who also doesn’t know a lot about electronics ???? So some of this info and info in our other blog posts could be wrong. If it is or you have worked out stuff we haven’t please post in the comments or message us on Twitter as we would love to learn more!

We’ve been planning on posting what we get up to with the badge and thought we would write an overview post about the badge and what we have discovered, links to helpful information and other stuff. We keep learning more about the badge all the time so this post will probably get updated a billion times so watch this page ???? We will also put links to our other BSides Badge Hacking posts so they are all together in one place.

If you are looking for information on hacking different parts of the badge, here are our other posts so far. The ones with ‘coming soon’ we have working we just have to write up the blog post for it ????

  • Re-Flashing the Badge – This tells you how to reflash the SAMD and ESP32 chips to restore the badge to its original firmware
  • Programming the SAMD Chip and the User LEDs (coming soon)
  • Controlling the RGB LEDs (coming soon)

All About the BSides CBR 2021 Badge

BSides and Penten who made the badge released some info and the firmware before the conference. You can get the original information here and the firmware you can download from GitHub here. The firmware is great cause you can re-flash your badge to get it back to its original state if you want to or just recover it when you stuff up hacking it ???? The only bad thing about the firmware is it’s all binaries so you can’t see how it was programmed which has made it much harder to work it all out and hack. But it’s sorta good cause it means you have to research and experiment more to learn to do stuff to it.

We have posted some of the pics and schematics from the link above just to make it easier. We hope posting it here is ok. If it’s not just let us know.

Here is a really cool pic of the badge that was released before the conference. This was the first thing we saw and got us all excited for badge hacking. Especially the ePaper display as we had been looking at getting one to program on our Raspberry Pis.Bsides CBR 2021 3D CGI drawing of the badge

And here is a couple of schematics for the badge.

And here is the full Bsides Badge 2021 Schematic as a PDF. Without this schematic we would have been lost. Well dad would have cause we cant read it at all ????

We did find a mistake on the schematic when we were trying to program the user LEDs. The pins are wrong on the schematic. Here are the proper pins for the LEDs on the SAMD chip:

  • PIN 32 = LED6
  • PIN 31 = LED8
  • PIN 30 = LED7

The badge has a whole bunch of cool integrated circuits on it which you can see in the schematics. There are a few other little bits and pieces as well but we haven’t listed them here cause these are the main ones we want to learn to program. Here is what we have found and what they do or control on the badge. Some of the parts are only available in the BSides 2021 Badge Add-On Pack which is $15 and looks like they are still available (when we wrote this post. If you are reading this in the year 2277 they may be sold out).

List of Badge ICs

  • ATSAMD21G18A

    • 8 x Capacitive touch buttons

    • 3 x user LEDs

    • 8 x RGB LEDs

    • Arduino MKRZero Header (in the add-on pack)

    • Infra-Red Transceiver (in the add-on pack)

    • Here is the SAMD21 Data Sheet – SAM-D21DA1-Family-Data-Sheet-DS40001882G.pdf
  • ESP32-PICO-D4

    • eInk Display

    • 5 x User Buttons

    • Audio Codec (in the add-on pack)

    • Inertial Measurement Unit (in the add-on pack)

    • MicroSD Card

    • Flash (in the add-on pack)

    • RAM (in the add-on pack)

    • Here is the ESP32-PICO-D4 Data Sheet – esp32-pico-d4_datasheet_en.pdf
  • LP5024

    • RGB LED Driver for 8 x RGB LEDs

    • Here is the LP5024 Data Sheet – lp5024.pdf
  • ICM-20620 (in the add-on pack)

    • 6-axis MotionTracking

      • 3-axis gyroscope

      • 3-axis accelerometer

  • TFBS4711-TR1 (in the add-on pack)

    • Infra-Red Transceiver

  • SGTL5000XNLA3 (in the add-on pack)

    • Low Power Stereo Codec with Headphone Amp

  • AT25SF081-SSHD-T (in the add-on pack)

    • 8MBit Flash

  • LY68L6400SLIT (in the add-on pack)

    • 64MBit PSRAM

  • DEPG0290B01

    • 2.9” Red/Black/White eInk Display

    • 296 x 128 pixels

    • 112 DPI

That’s about it for now. We have been collecting spec sheets for these parts and have added a few above. We will put up more as we start to look at each IC cause it will make it much easier for you to hack the badge with this info.

Any comments or questions, we would love to hear from you.



Mos aka MrOldSkinny, loves to hack things together whether it be hardware, software or a combination of both! When he isn’t doing crazy hacks you will find him picking locks, tampering with tamper-proof devices, and finding weaknesses in security controls. All the cybers will be his!


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