How To: Electricity/Electronics for Hackers: Basics: Part 1 (Introduction to the Series)

Electricity/Electronics for Hackers: Basics: Part 1 (Introduction to the Series)

Hello again, fellow hackers! Null-Byte is a world to learn about hacking. But in my time here, I've pretty much only seen articles about software hacking. Here at Null Byte, few seem to know about electricity, more specifically electronics. The thing is, using electronics is really useful in hacking! Especially in cyber-warfare!

Keep in mind that a computer and everything related to it, is just an electric circuit. So understanding how electricity works, might help you exploit it better.

Furthermore, flaws in electricity can't be patched. You simply can't change the electromagnetic spectrum (we will cover that later), so signal scramblers will never stop working. And there are also other appliances that we can make by our self more easily, like a power supply for our raspberry pi, which is one of the things i am planning to build in this series.

I consider myself more of an electrical engineer than an ethical hacker sometimes, but I try to apply my skills in electricity and electronics when I am hacking, and the other way around, which inspired me to write this series.

What Will We Learn in This Series?

  • What electricity is, essentially.
  • Safety when working with electronics (decided to include this for people who are new to the subject).
  • What "The amount of electricity" is, and how to calculate it (we will need this knowledge in pretty much all of our circuits).
  • What electrical voltage, current, and electrical resistance is. (we will need this in all of our circuits).
  • Ohm's law (we will need this in all of our circuits).
  • The electromagnetic spectrum (needed for our cellphone/radio/Wi-Fi scrambler).
  • The different types of electricity (needed for our RPi power supply).
  • Oscillation (needed for our scrambler, again).
  • The different components in an electric circuit, like: resistors, diodes, capacitors, transformers, transistors, etc...
  • And much more!

The reason I want to teach you all of this, is so that you will actually understand what is going on, and won't be considered a script kiddie. We're here to learn after all, aren't we? Also, take note that this isn't in chronological order, I just wanted to give you all a taste of what you will learn in this series.

How Can We Apply This to Hacking?

Like I already said, we can apply this knowledge for hacking in a lot of ways. These are the things I am planning to build in this series, but I might even invent more devices and post them here!

  • A Radio, cellphone, and Wi-Fi jammer. Those of you who know me better and know that I am obsessed with electricity and electronic engineering almost as much as with hacking, have been asking me a lot of times on how to make a signal jammer. After studying the electromagnetic spectrum and oscillation, I decided to give this project a shot!
  • A power supply for our RPi. OTW already Introduced us to the Raspberry Pi, and it is also later on in Mr.Robot, Where Elliot installs the RPi, that inspired me to build a power supply. In that scene, we see Elliot infiltrate the building where Evil Corp. is hiding their tape records of the student debts. When Elliot installs the RPi behind a thermostat, we see his RPi doesn't have a battery pack, and that he is cutting open the wire and starts to re-wire the thermostat with his RPi (this proofs again that good hackers MUST know some basic electronics/electricity!). But I personally think he also got the power to drive his RPi from the 230V (Volts) of AC (Alternating Current) electricity that go into the thermostat via the cable Elliot cut open. The thing is, the RPi works on the power coming from a USB port, which is 5V DC (Direct Current). 230V is simply too high for the RPi, and it doesn't work with AC, so Elliot must've made some kind of power supply to convert the AC to DC and lower the voltage to 5V. It is this power supply that I am going to recreate.
  • The USBBomb. This is an invention that got me some notoriety in other hacking forums. It is simply a USB stick that contains a battery of 9V, and when plugged into anything that has a USB port, it will simply fry the device. I exploited Ohm's law to make this work. Take note that I wasn't the first to invent this, but that I just managed to make it in a cheaper way.

Then I was also planning on making an EMP bomb, that would disable all electronics in a radius of 20 meters. But before I can attempt this, I need to study some things first.

Okay, This is it for the introduction to the series. I hope I convinced you all that electronics can be useful for hacking and cyber warfare. My next article will be about what electricity is, the different parts of an electric circuit, how we can calculate "the amount of energy" and how we can apply this in real life situations, and maybe i will also talk about Ohm's law. If everything goes as planned, I'll have part 2 up later today or early tomorrow.

Also, I'd appreciate your feedback on this series!

-Phoenix750

37 Comments

This sounds so good man!! CANT WAIT!!! :D

+1 Can't wait any longer. Emp just like Batman(and I hope it would be small,portable and powerful), cheaper USBbomb and RPi power supply fired me up. Good luck. :)

The EMP might be a bit tricky, which is why i decided to not confirm it yet. The RPi power supply is something that i already designed and tested, aswell as the USBBomb.

-Phoenix750

Sounds really cool.

Interesting...

A new concept!, ah I remember of my days in early teens when I partially dismantled my computer hardware system and tried to learn about the GPU, all I got was an electric shock! (UPS :3)

Hope your series doesn't include one, cause I am looking forward to it.
(Specially the Electro Magnetic Pulse)

An electric shock from only 3-12V? You must have a ridiculously low amount of electric resistance! Unless there was a capacitor/inductor involved...

Anyway, if you are curious about what happened in your body at the time of that shock, be sure to check out part 2 of my series, where i will talk about the effects of electricity on the human body (and other things, too)! I'll most likely publish it tomorrow.

Take note that the EMP is currently just a concept, don't put your hopes too much on it ;)

-Phoenix750

Hey. Phoenix750. maybe you could make a tutorial on a internet booster. It is easy to make, but costs a lotta money. and I consider myslf as a guy who likes tinkering and opening up my own laptop. Anyway, good luck with this series! (Nice idea though, spreading knowledge about electronics, since no other guy here has done that.)

Interestingly there are plenty of ways to boost your wifi without spending a fortune. One of my favorite ways uses just a soda can!

Once you are finished with your beverage, check out this tutorial.

The can functions like an antenna. I might include this in my series, since it is electronic engineering after all.

-Phoenix750

Good luck with the series, sounds very interesting and explicative.

Looks sweet man, that USBBomb looks awesome!.

Awesome job phoenix! Looking forward to it.

Nice Phoenix, But i think you should put these two together:

  • What "The amount of electricity" is, and how to calculate it (we will need this knowledge in pretty much all of our circuits).
  • What electrical voltage, current, and electrical resistance is. (we will need this in all of our circuits).

But still can't wait to read all the tutorials and articles of yours.

These were just the things i am planning to include in the series, not that they will each get a seperate article ;)

-Phoenix750

Ohh good x) Can't wait.

great! this is what I've been waiting for, oh and don't forget about spy bugs as well

looks interesting. the electromagnetic spectrum doesn't change, so these radio scramblers can still work if you modify them a little.

-Phoenix750

Can't wait for this series ! I somehow lack in those electronic skills and it will be cool to learn something new.

This looks fantastic, I'm crazy excited for this, nice job!

Pheonix, I have seen a lot of tutorials on Null Byte.
By far, I think I am the most excited about yours!

+1 and if I haven't already followed you I will now.

Also Samy Kamkar also does a lot of electronics hacking. He made devices to open locked garage doors wirelessly, make wireless doorbells ring nonstop, and even made a robot to crack combination locks. Anyways, can't wait to see what this has in stock!

I'll certainly try to recreate some of his circuits!

-Phoenix750

Really Exicited for this!!

Thanks in Advance.

EMP Bomb would be really cool

Great Job Phoenix, I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

Phoenix ! or Other great Hackers!
Newbie here,
Wanna say this rocks! +1

......
And I have a question,
From your experience,
I wanna ask What field should one choose? Considering CEH too.

Electronic or Electrical Engineering OR Computer Science or Computer Engineering? or etc; ( or others which i don't know)

I wanna know your opinion here!
I have already looked into all, and I am pretty confused!
I hope you get the point of what i am trying to ask here!
Thanks in advance! ;)

Micheal,

If you want to just do ethical hacking, go with computer science/computer engineering.

If you want to excel in cyber warfare , you should do electronic/electrical engineering.

Or you can do both at the same time, like I do: I study electrical engineering at school and I study computer engineering/computer science at home as a hobby.

-Phoenix750

Great idea for a series Phoenix. You could just give the theory, but I'm glad you're applying the knowledge to some practical, and most of all COOL, examples. Can't wait for all of them hehe :)

I am first going to give some theory, because that is necessary. But i will be applying this theory to the examples i stated above.

-Phoenix750

This is something from this site I can definitely look forward too, thank you!

@phoenix I must thank you a 100 times. These things are taught in schools and are super boring. The teachers suck too. You have made it look super easy. Thanks a ton brother.

Exelent post dude, I am here waiting for your write up. BTW, what antenna do you use? DIY your own antenna, can you write up about your DIY antenna ?

Regards.

If you're asking about the wifi antenna I use, I usually use the integrated wifi card that is already in my laptop, which supports monitor mode/packet injection and has a decent range.

-Phoenix750

the series is interesting... i really loved it, keep up.

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