Badgelife HackChat Transcript

A event log for Badgelife chat

Badgelife is all the groups making unofficial conference badges for DEF CON. Reports say up to 5000 badges will be made! Epic!

Shulie TornelShulie Tornel 07/14/2017 at 20:030 Comments

Whitney Merrill Hi! I'm Whitney I founded the Crypto & Privacy Village. I somehow stumbled into #badgelife.

bitstr3m bitsr3m here, 1/5 of AND!XOR

Hyr0n Hi! I am Hyr0n, 1/5 Whiskey 1/5 AND!XOR, I enjoy long walks on the beach

Lutetium lol

Whitney Merrill I think we are missing @supersat but she should be joining shortly

bitstr3m AND!XOR is basically like Voltron

jculberts he*

bitstr3m hah

Hyr0n Wait Karl is...?

Whitney Merrill Sorry he*

MrRobotBadge I'm MrRobotBadge. I was conceived backstage at a 38 Special concert and my life only got more awesome from there. For this year's def con I'm doing this:

hackb0t how did #Badgelife get started?

true just made a badge

Hyr0n Jokes in chat

Mike Szczys Welcome @true! Did you introduce yourself yet?

Whitney Merrill Ha that's funny.. I think its been going on for years. But @duplico invented the term. I reached out to folks on twitter to get everyone in one room to talk about the trials and tribulations

true should I? hi I am true, I made the WP skull badges for DC22 and DC23, and the skeleton key DC24.

Whitney Merrill Duplico is one of the main queercon badge makers

Mike Szczys @true love those badges, great to see you here!

Benchoff The queercon badge is *always* top notch.

Whitney Merrill Yah- i'm guessing it will be this year too- We still havent seen it

Whitney Merrill its a ongoing joke how well they keep their badge secret

bitstr3m Queercon is always super secret squirrel

The Toymakers (tymkrs) We love the WP badges, esp the key - super elegant design

Andrew Hey everyone, 1/5 of AND!XOR. I'm a janitor at a school, I enjoy solving math problems in hallways, always getting in trouble.

hackb0t @andrew do you like apples?

Whitney Merrill Once @supersat arrives we can drop our big reveal of the Crypto & Privacy Village badge-- which IS HAPPENING. It wasn't maybe not happening a week ago. I feel ilke i havent slept properly in about a week

bitstr3m Andrew just busted in like the Kool Aid man

Whitney Merrill

Are there specific questions people have?

Sophi Kravitz welcome @Karl Koscher !

Andrew @hackb0t a good crisp gala apple is delightful on a sunny day

Whitney Merrill HALLO @Karl Koscher

Karl Koscher Thanks! Sorry for the delay.

Sophi Kravitz we have questions:

Benchoff Hackb0t wants to know, "What about zoidberg"

Hyr0n @bitstr3m has a reveal too, but well wait for when this chat thingy agenda presents itself

bitstr3m yeah @Sophi Kravitz did you want us to just start picking from the google spreadsheet

Sophi Kravitz yes please ~Sophi

Hyr0n Zoidberg is dead to me

Hyr0n @gateherder says "So for the benefit of others, can you describe #badgelife? Is it a single group of people? If not, .... what is it?"

MrRobotBadge I'm going to say it again, someone really screwed up not doing a hedonism bot badge.

bitstr3m Q: What about Zoidberg? A: Because bender. Over to Crypto.... Why not Zoidberg @Karl Koscher ?

Whitney Merrill It's a way of life

Whitney Merrill #badgelife isnt about collecting, its the losing sleep & pains of building hardware on a fixed deadline f

Sophi Kravitz is it only for defcon?

Whitney Merrill We are also kind of a group. No, not only for defcon

jculberts I think #badgelife started as a joke about how much of our personal time we spend working on producing these things

Hyr0n its devoting your nights,weekends, sleepsless hours, sanity, and dollars all for making a piece of electronics that hangs from your neck. all to make others happy, meet people, and learn something new

Jorge Lacoste #badgelife is a way to spend money and time you don't have, it's about waking up at 2am to call China, and just doing it all for the lulz

true no but DC is probably the biggest presentation.

Sophi Kravitz what other conferences is it for?

Sophi Kravitz "all for making a piece of electronics that hangs from your neck" hahahaha

Whitney Merrill CCC, Derbycon, any conference that has a badge, layerone

Mike Szczys @Jorge Lacoste well said!

Whitney Merrill @Jorge Lacoste is the reason i got involved

Whitney Merrill and basically how Crypto & privacy Village got into badgelife

bitstr3m It's a reference to folks who spend the entire year following Def Con to design, build, manufacturer, and peddle your interests to the masses in an attempt to show off your epic hardware hacking skillz

jculberts @Jorge Lacoste was the designer of the first Crypto and Privacy village badge (I'm one of the other organizers)

Karl Koscher and then I got roped in by @Whitney Merrill to work on the firmware for the first CPV badge

Whitney Merrill It's kind of a -- if you don't like , build your own mentality too

bitstr3m exactly

Hyr0n lucas asked " What are the essential badge hacking tools and components to bring?"

Jorge Lacoste /tip-o-teh-hat @Karl Koscher did all the coding for that design

true WP did it because we had a dumb idea about a fire strobe, and after coming up with a bunch of ideas it turned into needing a badge. so I lost my after work time for a few months

Whitney Merrill We've spent months talking about a design realizing that simply its not feasible to do out of pocket

true I never thought it would be anything like it was, but everyone seeme dto enjoy it

Whitney Merrill badgelife -- at least for CPV has been completely out of pocket with the hopes to recoup costs.

gateherder @Whitney Merrill +1

hackb0t any previews??

Jorge Lacoste Components: bring extra stuff you would like to incorporate into a existing design. for DC21 we modified the DC20 badge to send IR data over BLE to our phones

Karl Koscher So for hacking on our badge, you can reflash everything over USB. All you need is a laptop. We're pretty much out of I/O, but you might be able to squeeze a few more pins out

Hyr0n we used personal funds, booster, kickstarter, and Andrew sells lemonade on the street corner every saturday night dressed up like a night walker

Karl Koscher We do have an I2C bus

Lutetium picture please?

Whitney Merrill @supersat is the brilliant mind behind last year's badge & this year's badge-- he also programmed our first badge that @Jorge Lacoste designed

true WP will never sell badges. our goal has been to give away to cool people and try to invite the...less social people, the typical nerds who had bad experiences like I had at my first events, to have a good time

gateherder we (dczia) have a few badges going this year, with the hope that all the bills will get paid eventually... but in the end it's fun, with fun people...

true but it still gets very expensive.....

Whitney Merrill @supersat = @Karl Koscher .

Whitney Merrill So expensive

Whitney Merrill costs add up quickly especially at volume

Whitney Merrill but really it's worth it to see people enjoy and appreciate them. They are pieces of art

Karl Koscher

Jorge Lacoste

if you think that not showering, spending all your money, badgelife is for you watch the "getting to blinky" video series that Chris Gammell has on youtube

Karl Koscher So we ran into a bit of a problem with our prototypes ;)

Whitney Merrill yahhhh

Whitney Merrill we did 3 rounds

Mike Szczys @Karl Koscher Beautiful!

Karl Koscher they got hit with ransomware ;)

Sophi Kravitz niiiice

Whitney Merrill haha


Hyr0n I accidently left MeatSpin bling on ours

Mike Szczys yeah, what is MeatSpin? was confused by that.

Todd Do y'all normally sell out of all the badges?

Hyr0n im 1000000000% serios

ZiggyInKC "accidently"

Hyr0n You should google it Mike

Benchoff YAAAAAH no

Whitney Merrill

Yes. they sell like hotcakes

Karl Koscher @Todd: yes, absolutely

Whitney Merrill and are our main fundraiser

Jordan Bunker @Mike Szczys *NSFW WARNING*

bitstr3m We did last year we will see about this year

Jorge Lacoste @Benchoff ROFL

Hyr0n Actually that 4x3 matrix of LEDs, is really displaying a low res RAW of meatspin ;)

Karl Koscher we had ... production issues last year, and people bought bare PCBs

Karl Koscher and PCBs with just LEDs on them

Hyr0n dont google that

Jordan Bunker hahaha

hackb0t my eyes Wtf

Mike Szczys @Karl Koscher How did you plan for more success this year?

Whitney Merrill We had an original plan to produce badges for DC24 -- but ditched it at the beginning of july and completely changed our design

Whitney Merrill @Karl Koscher@jculberts and I all worked to get a badge designed and "produced" by DC 24 -- in about 3 weeks

jculberts we had to strip back most of the features just to "blinky"

jculberts we planned much earlier this year

Karl Koscher maybe someday I'll finish the firmware for it

Whitney Merrill The design process started in October this year

Hyr0n We started 8 August 2016

Lucas Rangit MAGASWERAN Wow dedication

Hyr0n order parts on cell phone while driving away from vegas

MrRobotBadge First prototypes here were ordered the last week of January.

Whitney Merrill by November we had decided on the lock and the look, @Karl Koscher started designing the schematic

Whitney Merrill i think we had been thinking about a rotary dial for quite some time too


true oh was asking when started mentioned? I was going to start oct/nov but had repeated burglaries so couldn't do badges this year. for dc24 it was dec/jan, tried starting earlier but couldn't get artwork.

jculberts we had lots of ideas, and some we'll save for later years, but the decision has never really been contentious. I saw that question in the sheet.

bitstr3m I started the app design for our badge sometime in November

charliex heya

Hyr0n He do we still get time past 1230? I know CPV and us both had reveals if people want to see them, or not we can keep the lulz up. audience call


Benchoff It goes until question mark

Hyr0n oh wait, well that was it. Smartphone Integration

Whitney Merrill ha -- sounds like a productive friday for everyone. Is it security camp yet?

The Toymakers (tymkrs) What kind of hacks are you hoping to see people do with your badges?

Hyr0n we noticed some had issues with UART, so were rolling a NUS BLE Terminal

Karl Koscher So there's a question about whether there are more badges this year because DEF CON announced that L057 isn't doing them

Whitney Merrill Big badgelife reveal-- most of the badges will have BLE.... that's what ill say.

bitstr3m basically the app lets anyone, regardless of whether they get a badge to hack into the AND!XOR badge

Mike Szczys You've all been colluding?

Karl Koscher While that might be true for some badges, the majority that I know of were in development farrrrrrr in advance

Hyr0n everyone was

Mike Szczys That's actually brilliant. Much better if there's a unified standard for owning the badges.

Hyr0n however, many of us decided to increase the number we were producing so more people could have electronic badges

charliex are we still badge chatting then. late to the game

Karl Koscher oh yes

Mike Szczys Is there like a BLE firmware subcommittee and who's on it?

bitstr3m no garauntee that our app will get you into other badges but it's worth a try ;)

Karl Koscher AND!XOR basically dictated BLE ;)

Whitney Merrill @Mike Szczys we decided at defcon last year that there should be some way to link them together someway. We were hoping to also do connectivity with the DEFCON badge-- but that...well that didnt happen

Hyr0n anyone in #badgelife that uses BLE and entered their info on the spreadsheet

Jorge Lacoste @Mike Szczys AND!XOR got a reel of Rigado SoC's and those were broken out between a few groups

Whitney Merrill yah @and!xor dictated BLE

bitstr3m you know like hilter

Karl Koscher I would say it's not as cohesive as you might want it to be, but we are all trying to have some inter-badge interaction

Jorge Lacoste we dictated it, as your shiny new metal gods of IoT lulz

true I am not in whatever channel / group that was in, didn't know about it... our badge technically had BLE last year but implementation wasn't done

alusion Yo I'm inspired to make my own badge using hacked Zsun's, it just needs to be pretty

bitstr3m it's gonna take a bit to get right but I think it's been the hope of the badge community for a while

alusion my badge is a wifi hotspot portal into a browser based VR/AR world

bitstr3m Noice

Whitney Merrill @true i've been told the WP "dont do slack"

Hyr0n a standard protocol for "when" we want to interact is good. but we dont want to hamper one anothers creativity by having a "everyone shall only use..."

Jorge Lacoste BLE has been working well with our badge, we can get up to ~6 days of battery life with our badge currently

The Toymakers (tymkrs) alusion - you may enjoy playing with the Cyphercon badge then :)

Mike Szczys Is there a reference manual for the implementation somewhere?

alusion I'll write that one down for defcon

true Whitney, yeah we stick to oldschool protocols. hell the only reason we have twitter is so people can find us and bring us booze

Whitney Merrill 9-10 different badge groups will have BLE it looks like

bitstr3m @Mike Szczys I was the poor fool who got to count out BLE chips and re-reel them

Hyr0n yeah thats the other thing, IoT SOCs have driven very low power components. its only natural when your badge requirements are "shall run entire con on a 3 AAs / no recharge"

true just as well we don't "at" people

Karl Koscher true: you know there is an IRC gateway :|

Whitney Merrill ha thats fair true

Mike Szczys @bitstr3m I envison the tickets spit out at those skee-ball machines, except Rigado modules

Jorge Lacoste @Mike Szczys i believe Zapp wrote out a common protocol, but that might be for future years. I think right now there are a lot of using the beacons to identify badges

bitstr3m basically

Hyr0n its an easy characteristic to use

Mike Szczys @Jorge Lacoste That common protocol is a story right there. I'll pester you about it at the con ;-D

Karl Koscher So I have posted the CPV 2017 badge schematic on our (very new and sparse) project page:

true Karl haven't looked into I said WP "official" badge plans were delayed then canceled after repeated burglary so I couldn't really do anything this year anyway. hopefully what is out there is hackable and I'll get my hands on it. maybe next year.

alusion Whats the worst that can happen with a WiFi enabled badge at hacker conference?

Whitney Merrill

We will flesh out the info

The Toymakers (tymkrs) A real shame what you had to go through @true

mikeamoss has joined this room.12:34 P

Jorge Lacoste having RF integrated into an SoC is critical, we had issues last year rolling our own RF traces last year

MrRobotBadge > Whats the worst that can happen with a WiFi enabled badge at hacker conference?


Hyr0n Whell if you are using Qualcomm chips, turn off all the wifi

charliex @true did they catch them

true alusion there have been wifi badges at DC24, that used malformed beacons or deauth packets to talk

Hyr0n especially your phone (wait for blackhat talk next week)

Karl Koscher for the love of god, do not modify your badge to broadcast any SSIDs like ALPHA, GAMMA, DELTA, etc

martinamatari has joined this room.12:35

true charliex only 6 of the 15+.

Hyr0n also expect a 5-6 hour battery life

Hyr0n with wifi

Mike Szczys @Karl Koscher "Universal Bee" -- that's a new one to me.

charliex sucks man

alusion I wish WiFi was less power hungry already

Karl Koscher it's kind of a nice part

Hyr0n Hence, we use Wifi

true Mike, it's a decent 8051 with USB

Whitney Merrill I also designed as secondary badge this year -- just incase #badgelife fucked us over

Karl Koscherby Silicon Labs, and they have firmware that makes it look like a Silicon Labs USB to serial chip... but it's a cheaper part

Hyr0n Is it laser cut acrylic?

Jorge Lacoste i think BADGELIFE is growing up a bit, it used to be all about just LED bling, you start to see greater feature sets being developed lately

charliex we haven't started our dc badge yet. cutting it close

Whitney Merrill not electronic, just pcb just in case-- need to have a backup

Karl Koscher I despise the fact that it's an 8051, but everything else about it is pretty nice

alusion badgelife and this years defcon is signaling a renaissance in electronic badge art

Whitney Merrill no @Hyr0n thankfully not

The Toymakers (tymkrs) That's my guess- that if DefCon folks do have an official badge, that it'll be pcb only

Whitney Merril yah that's my guess to @The Toymakers (tymkrs)

alusion I'll prob be spending a lot of money #noragrets

Jorge Lacoste i think you misspelled paper

charliex yeah

Hyr0n your mom misspelled paper

alusion huh ? this years defcon badge is electronic

Hyr0n like 1400's electronic

Jorge Lacoste this years defcon badge is cancelled

alusion oh damn :( my hotel is booked tho

Hyr0n same kind of blinky badge Columbus used as he sailed the ocean blue

true we hope to one year have a thousand badges for handout. because as a poor hacker at dc16-18 and having an awful experience, I certainly didn't have a whole lot of money for additional bling. want to make a fun time for others

The Toymakers (tymkrs) They said they were going to "come up with something"

MrRobotBadge This year's defcon badge is most certainly not electronic.

bitstr3m BTW the app for the AND!XOR badge is real at least for Android we plan to release sometime next week so keep a look out.

The Toymakers (tymkrs) What was your experience true?

alusion last years wasn't electronic

Andrew no ios, sorry not sorry

Hyr0n you can use a Nordic UART app, but it is very verbose

Whitney Merrill In case anyone is wondering--production choices generally fall down to CHINA vs. US

Jorge Lacoste @alusion yes it was :)

Hyr0n and we dont develop on Apple, so no

true at my first defcon events? goons acting like assholes, hold on phone calls, I am working

The Toymakers (tymkrs) I mean, you know what the ideal hackercon badge would be? Perfboards with stations of chips and wires all over the con lol

bitstr3m We tend to try and stick with US fab houses

alusion most of my parts come from china and some of them are going out of stock :(

true Toymakers, are you asking me?

charliex @The Toymakers (tymkrs) thats been done though, and it relies on people bringing lots of neat stuff to solder in and havine people to help design stuff

Karl Koscher I really want to run a badgemaking workshop at defcon with rapid prototyping PCB machines. Unfortunately, the logistics of that seem too complex

The Toymakers (tymkrs) Sure hah, I'm just thinking out loud about how to do a fast badge (esp w/defcon's situation)

Andrew It definitely makes communication much easier when you go through US fab houses

charliex stay up all night

The Toymakers (tymkrs) I say it tongue in cheek in other words

Whitney Merrill We used PCBWay

alusion I want to atleast see a badgelife gathering at ddefcon

Jorge Lacoste @Karl Koscher i have an Othermill

Hyr0n For anyone wondering, we were originally going China. Then one of Zapps designs got posted on their website without our permission. Cant trust some of the overseas fabs. So we eneded up domestic wtih Macrofab. Couldnt be happier with getting them made in Texas

Andrew you can call them up same day and get problems solved

The Toymakers (tymkrs) Yikes hyr0n

Whitney Merrill there's a gathering- but its hush hush

VulnerabilityWatcher MrRobotBadge announced when Ann's where sales would be. I missed it.

The Toymakers (tymkrs) And charliex - yes I agree, it probably wouldn't actually work to just have perfboard

alusion I really really really want an andxnor badge

true Toymakers, basically as your typical nerd it was hard to talk with people, but noobdy seemed to want to talk. just sat against a wall most of it. goons were assholes every time I dealt with them, pushed out of the way, stomped on. People in general were rude. A few regular con goers are like cancer. Really bad experience. I don't want others to have the defcon experience I did back then

alusion made in america :D

charliex silver circuits used to do all our pcbs, but we switched to itead who've been doing really well and they're cheap and will help out with the , hey we need this next week

Andrew s/america/'Murica/

The Toymakers (tymkrs)

I get that @true - I'm glad you used your experience and decided to do something with it

charliex had much less luck with US based board houses tbh

ArsenijsOh hi @charliex , long time no see!

true alusion WP have hand assembled all badges. PCBs are from china, components are from wherever, but we assembled them 100% in house.

charliex @Arsenijs sup!

Whitney Merrill We used pcbway and have been very happy the turn around is really quick and they have great customer service

alusion beautiful

true that's something I would like to continue to do but won't be able to without big $$$ if we also want quantity. doing it by hand takes a lot of time

Whitney Merrill i know people using microfab have had delay issues

Whitney Merrill and they are significantly more expensive

Karl Koscher I was pretty happy with pcbway. I've submitted gerbers sunday night and got boards friday morning

Karl Koscher (these were bare boards, not assembled)

alusion How much in parts for 500 badges?

charliex the biggest issue we had is that it got so easy/fast with itead that'd we'd prototype by doing pcb runs instead of milling them or breadboarding

Whitney Merrill pcbway built our entire batch (500) in 1 day

true alusion depends on complexity at that quantity...

jculbertsit depends a lot on what your parts are

Whitney Merrill* assembled

Andrew @true totally agree. in house hand assembly takes some serious time. We did that last year with our dc24 badge. We all meet up and just drink beer, watch shity hacker movies and solder for 72 hours

alusion As fancy as bender badge version 1

Hyr0n Lets just say, for our lot, Andrew had to get kneepads to cover the costs

alusion just thinking of a median

charliex yeah itead i can submit sunday night and get them in 7 days, cheap

The Toymakers (tymkrs) Agreed - the cyphercon cube badge this year was done all in house. serious flux time there

Jordan Bunker How many different badge designs would you guys say you've made collectively?

charliex i've done around 10 personally

charliex maybe more

alusion This years layerone badge was beautiful

bitstr3m agree

The Toymakers (tymkrs) do they have to be different circuits? or can it include ones with diff designs?

charliex yeah we got a lot of good feedback on that one, was super happy

Todd @alusion agreed! Until I fried mine :(

charliex @Todd just come by the house

true so my ultimate goal is get parts like pick n place, better oven, etc. and do it in house. I'd really like to also do assembly for other low quantity hacker / con badges, keep it in the community

charliex we'll be there tomorrow

Karl Koscher true: that would be very awesome!

Todd @charliex cool.... I'll definitely have time for that