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Gadgets that break things: our favorite hacking hardware

A new series looking at hardware built for hacking

Not all gadgets are meant to make life easier.

Some gadgets break things, exploiting cracks in our digital systems, prying them open, and crawling inside. Most often used by penetration testers — a kind of white-hat hacker hired to test a company’s security by breaking in themselves — these gadgets serve as a kind of road map to the most common vulnerabilities in our digital world.

For the most part, they’re commercialized versions of tech that already existed in a scrappier form, leaning on open-source software projects and decades of work developing attacks. But most importantly, they’re available, so if you decide you want to try out one of these attacks, the equipment is only a click away.

Please use them only for good.

An eye-shaped opening reveals a Flipper Mini and open-hardware watch, set against an orange background.

The Flipper Zero is a Swiss Army knife of antennas

Chris Person

The new USB Rubber Ducky is more dangerous than ever

Corin Faife

The WiFi Coconut is a router’s evil twin

Russell Brandom

The O․MG Elite cable is a scarily stealthy hacker tool

Corin Faife

The ChameleonMini is a skeleton key for RFID

Chris Person

The Deauther Watch is the world’s most annoying wearable

Chris Person

The Hunter Cat is a bodyguard for your credit card

Chris Person

The Ubertooth One lets you take a bite out of Bluetooth

Chris Person