About this course

Course type Specialist
Course code QAHOHHRE
Duration 2 Days

Grand Idea Studio’s Hardware Hacking Training, taught exclusively by Joe Grand, focuses on hardware hacking and reverse engineering techniques commonly used against electronic products and embedded systems. It is a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises, culminating with students attempting to defeat the security of a custom circuit board. No prior electronics experience is required.


During the course, the student will:

  • Understand the hardware hacking process and mindset
  • Learn the skills needed to successfully reverse engineer, modify, and/or attack electronic products
  • Apply real world techniques to defeat the security of a custom circuit board

Course materials

Students will be provided with the following materials and equipment:

  • Electronics and hardware hacking tools, including a soldering iron, multimeter, digital oscilloscope, and device programmer
  • Grand Idea Studio’s custom training circuit board
  • Course lecture slides and hardware hacking/embedded security reference material

Training course agenda

This course teaches hardware hacking and reverse engineering techniques commonly used against electronic products and embedded systems. It provides students with the resources and skills they need to confidently approach hardware hacking and to come up with creative solutions for their own particular engagements. No prior electronics experience is required.

A. Hardware Hacking Overview

1. Methodology

2. Key goals

3. Common themes

4. Electronics fundamentals

B. Information Gathering

1. General techniques

2. FCC ID search

C. Product Teardown

1. Opening housings

2. Anti-tamper mechanisms

2.1. Defeating encapsulation

2.2. Hands-on exercise: Epoxy removal

3. Component identification

3.1. Basic components

3.2. Microcontrollers

3.3. Identifying ICs (Integrated Circuits)

3.4. Data sheets

4. PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards)

4.1. Fabrication/features

4.2. Hands-on exercise: PCB modifications

5. Schematics

D. Soldering and Desoldering

1. Techniques/tips

2. Hands-on exercise: Soldering

3. Hands-on exercise: Desoldering

4. Difficult package types

E. Buses and Interfaces

1. Identifying interfaces

2. Determining pin function

2.1. Hands-on exercise: Initial probing w/ multimeter

3. Debug interfaces

3.1. JTAG (IEEE 1149.1)

4. Signal monitoring/analysis

4.1. Hands-on exercise: Signal monitoring w/ oscilloscope

4.2. Serial/UART

4.3. Wireless/RF

5. Signal manipulation

5.1. Glitching

6. Hands-on exercise: Create a block diagram/schematic

F. Side Channel Attacks

1. Electromagnetic/RF

2. Power

2.1. Hands-on exercise: Simple power analysis w/ multimeter

3. Timing

4. Other side channels

G. Memory and Firmware

1. Memory types/technologies

2. Security considerations

3. Hands-on exercise: Data extraction/modification

4. Firmware analysis/disassembly

H. Chip-Level Hacking

1. IC decapsulation

2. Die analysis/modification

I. Embedded Security

1. Best practices

2. Product/vendor resources

3. Common attack/exploit vectors

J. Hardware Hacking Challenge

Apply the knowledge and skills learned in the course to reverse engineer and defeat the security mechanism of a custom electronic product.

Trusted, awarded and accredited

Fully accredited to ensure we provide the highest possible standards in learning

All third party trademark rights acknowledged.