Building a Hardware Hacking Lab

Learn how to procure, use, and maintain a complete Hardware Hacking Lab for any budget.

Training starting at


with one of our subscriptions



Links to the equipment mentioned during this training will be available in the "Instructions" tab of the video stream.

Learn how to procure, use, and maintain a complete Hardware Hacking Lab for any budget.

We frequently are asked, “What equipment do I need to start a hardware hacking lab.” It is an endless twitter debate and in this course, we will not only tell you how to outfit a lab suitable for a solo hacker or a pen-testing firm, we will show you. For each piece of equipment, we will demonstrate its capabilities specifically to hardware hacking. What’s the quickest way to dump a spi flash? What’s the quickest way to capture and replay arbitrary serial data? Join us live, or recorded to find out and discuss with our team!

Topics Covered during this Course

  • Hardware Hacking Gear that every lab should have
  • How to equip an lab for internal research, evaluation, or development of red-team tools
  • How to use each piece of kit listed below, from the basic digital multimeter to a digital oscilloscope
  • Soldering techniques and equipment that will let you modify and analyze hardware targets
  • Development kits that hackers should have close at hand to sniff and tweak bits-on-the wire
  • How to find cheap, rare, and custom hardware tools on sites like Ali Express

Part 1: Essential Gear

  • Digital Multimeters: it’s the number one piece of kit for a reason
  • Soldering Stations: just enough soldering lesson for hackers, how to modify and rework devices
  • Logic Analyzers: the wireshark of hardware
  • Debuggers: which ones do you need, which can be reused on different chips
  • DC Power Supplies: It’s an AC world, but DC rules electronics
  • Lab consumables: items you’ll run out of and wish you hadn’t
Module 1: Digital Multimeter
  • The instructor will cover common questions like:
  • What is a Digital Multimeter (DMM) and why is it so important?
  • “Cheap” vs “Expensive” DMMs
  • What specs of DMMs are important for hackers
  • How many DMMs should your team have?
  • Finally the instructor will demonstrate various DMMs live, compare different models, and show the common use cases for hacking with DMM
Module 2: Soldering and Rework equipment
  • The instructor will demonstrate basic rework techniques using a soldering station
  • We’ll demonstrate the most typical soldering skills you’ll need to conduct your penetration test or research, like removing a SPI flash
  • We will also cover popular questions like should you use Lead or unleaded solder? Do you really need that fume extractor? And how much damage can or can’t you do to the target?
Module 3: Logic Analyzers
  • We will cover the basic theory of logic analyzers including what they do and why do you need one
  • We will demonstrate to students various decoding of common embedded protocols, include I2C, UART, and SPI
  • Students will learn various features of popular analyzers and learn how to before some basic automation on the capture traces.
Module 4: Debuggers
  • Students will learn the difference between JTAG and SWD
  • We will overview the development ecosystem of popular embedded targets like ARM, AVR, MIPS, and x86
  • Students will understand the capabilities and differences between various community driven debuggers and vendor made ones
Module 5: DC Power Supplies and Consumables
  • Why you need a DC power supply and the difference between bench supplies and cheaper, modular ones
  • The small items that are critical, but frequently needed in your lab such as: jumper wires, resistors, capacitors, tweezers, and the like
  • Components that every hacker should have in the lab in ample supply like power MOSFETs and and analog MUXes
Module 6: Procurement
  • The pros and cons of the most well known distributors
  • How to navigate, evaluate, and procure items at discounted prices on Ali Express
  • How to manage the lab inventory system, consumable levels, and re-supply automation

Part 2: Beyond hobbyist labs: internal company and specialized labs

  • How to use a Digital Oscilloscope like a Pro
  • What extras in the lab make a difference from upgrading to hobbyist to professional
  • The development boards that every hacker should have
  • Advanced Equipment for performing more invasive attacks like laser fault injection and silicon modification
Module 7: Digital Oscilloscope
  • We’ll cover what all the specifications mean on a digital oscilloscope so you’ll know what you need. For example, is high bandwidth or higher sample rate better for hardware hacking?
  • Common beginner oscilloscope errors like probe calibration, incorrect time scale, and trigger mistakes.
  • Creature comfort features on scopes that make a difference, like multiple channels, HDMI output, and labelling.
  • Why an oscilloscope is better than a logic analyzer and vice versa for different tasks
Module 8: Extras that make a difference
  • Students will understand why not all breadboards are created equally, why two soldering irons may be better than one, and various types of helping hands gear
  • We will demonstrate various microscopes and discuss which ones are better depending if you need video capture or not
Module 10: Dev Boards for Hackers
  • We’ll overview various FPGA dev boards and make the case why you should always have a FPGA close at hand
  • Students will learn of certain dev boards / ICs that repeatedly resurface in hardware hacking like USB/UART converters
  • We’ll answer the burning question, how many Raspberry Pi’s should you have?! As well as other useful ARM boards you should have around.
Module 11: Advanced and Specialized Equipment
  • Finally, we’ll demonstrate specialized gear depending on your lab’s focus.
  • If students want to focus on RF hacking, we’ll outline the various basic RF tools
  • For power analysis and glitching, we’ll cover what tools are necessary as well
  • For well funded labs, should you get a Focused Ion-Beam or a Scanning Electron Microscope?

Class Requirements

  • All equipment will be demonstrated by the instructor, no purchase of additional equipment is necessary
Training by Dmitry Nedospasov

Dmitry is a hardware hacker, hardware design engineer, security researcher, speaker, and reverse-engineerer. Dmitry did his PhD in the field of IC security and PUFs.

Can't attend? All of our trainings are also available as a private classes for your company.

Access all of our classes and profesionally edited recordings.
All of our courses are also available as private trainings.
Courses are offered multiple times in different timezones.