Jun 27, 2023

Flipper hacking device on track to make $80M worth of sales

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, sustainability, transportation

You may have stumbled across the Flipper Zero hacking device that’s been doing the rounds. The company, which started in Russia in 2020, left the country at the start of the war and moved on since then. It claims it no longer has ties to Russia and that it is on track to sell $80 million worth of its products this year after selling almost $5 million worth as Kickstarter preorders — and it claims it sold $25 million worth of the devices last year.

So what are they selling? Flipper Zero is a “portable gamified multi-tool” aimed at everyone with an interest in cybersecurity, whether as a penetration tester, curious nerd or student — or with more nefarious purposes. The tool includes a bunch of ways to manipulate the world around you, including wireless devices (think garage openers), RFID card systems, remote keyless systems, key fobs, entry to barriers, etc. Basically, you can program it to emulate a bunch of different lock systems.

The system really works, too — I’m not much of a hacker, but I’ve been able to open garages, activate elevators and open other locking systems that should be way beyond my hacking skill level. On the one hand, it’s an interesting toy to experiment with, which highlights how insecure much of the world around us actually is. On the other hand, I’m curious if it’s a great idea to have 300,000+ hacking devices out in the wild that make it easy to capture car key signals and gate openers and then use them to open said apertures (including Tesla charge ports, for some bizarre reason).

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