How To: Turn an Ordinary Surge Protector into a Sneaky Hacking Strip

Turn an Ordinary Surge Protector into a Sneaky Hacking Strip

Remember the Power Pwn, the clever little hacking tool disguised as a power strip? It's great in theory, but with a $1,295 price tag, it definitely doesn't fit into most people's budgets.

But what if you could make your own for a fraction of the cost? That's exactly what the team over at Gnurds did with their Raspberry Pi Power Strip.

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The hardware for this project consists of a Raspberry Pi, microSD card adapter, USB to TTL Serial Cable, and, of course, a surge protector.

After opening up the power strip, the surge protection board was removed and an AC adapter was insulated with electrical tape and soldered inside.

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After sealing all the joints with electrical tape, the serial cable was soldered onto the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins. Finally, an Ethernet cable was added and the microSD adapter was inserted. Once it's closed up, this little hacking machine just looks like your average power strip.

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This version doesn't have all the functionality of the Power Pwn, but it's a work in progress and they plan to add Wi-Fi capability and LEDs next. The only downside is that you might look a little sketchy taking the SD card out when you come back to collect your data. For now, what you have is a cheap, inconspicuous traffic-sniffing device that's pretty impressive for a couple of high school kids.

You can find more details, diagrams, and instructions over on the project page, and tons of build photos here.

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