The Future of (Ethical) Hacking: The Flipper Zero

This “hacking Tamagotchi” can hack…everything?

By: Namish Gupta, Journalist

The Flipper Zero. From, under “fair use”

Technology has evolved to the point where almost everything about our lives is stored virtually. However, this brings a new breed of people who want to improve, and destroy these advancements. Hacking is basically breaking into a computer and gaining control of it. However, not only is it illegal, it is also difficult and requires years of experience and clunky technology. Although, hacking is not illegal if it is done with the consent of the person or software being hacked. For example, companies often hire “white-hat” hackers to hack their systems and find weaknesses. This allows those companies to find out where they need to strengthen their security to protect themselves from real cybercriminals. Furthermore, hacking can be used by homeowners if they feel that they want to make some kind of automation or device more efficient than it already is. That’s exactly what the Flipper Zero does.

The Flipper Zero first started out as a funding campaign on a famous site called Kickstarter in August of 2020. It raised over 5 million dollars and a couple months later, the company began shipping units to buyers.

The Flipper Zero is a treasure trove of technology that preforms a wide variety of functions, that is still growing! For

One of the Flipper Zero’s many functions. From under “fair use”

example, one of its crucial parts is a Radio Transceiver. The Flipper Zero has the functionality to examine and record the radio waves from a device like your garage door and replicate it, meaning that it can become a garage door remote. This is just one example, as there are many things that use radio transceivers, like cars or community gates. The Flipper Zero also has an infrared transmitter. This does the exact same thing as the radio transceiver, just with IR light. This is arguable better, as almost anything that uses a remote in your house uses infrared light, like your TV! There is also an RFID and NFC reader included, which also do the exact same thing as transceiver and transmitter, but with (you guessed it) RFID and NFC chips.

The Flipper Zero can also do malicious things (not that the previous functions can’t be used for bad purposes). One such thing is called a BadUSB attack. This is where the Flipper Zero is preprogrammed to preform an action or series of action on a computer. Whether it’s a harmless joke like searching up YouTube and “rickrolling” someone or a more devious approach like downloading all their data and deleting it.

Needless to day, it is not likely that someone will come up to you and your devices and start hacking you with a Flipper Zero. Also, the Flipper Zero is meant as an improvement device, and its code is open-source for anyone to edit and improve on. So, have fun with it and experiment!

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