Hard Disk Hacking (2013)


154 points | by jacquesm 34 days ago


  • barbs 34 days ago

    Sprites is someone that I feel truly epitomises the original hacking spirit. His ability to understand the inner-workings of a large variety of things, strip them down to their bare elements and combine them in different ways to make something new is nothing short of impressive.

    His hacks section is very entertaining (https://spritesmods.com/?art=hardware). My favourites are his Minecraft portal and his automatic jello-shot printer made from old CD-ROM parts.

    • jacquesm 33 days ago

      What is interesting to me and why I posted it is that his intuition about how things might work tends to correlate highly with how they actually work even if at that point in time during the narrative I'd have absolutely no clue about what he comes up with. That's a very deep level of insight.

    • peter_d_sherman 34 days ago

      In the comments section of the last page:


      Poster "tr1ck5t3r" wrote at 15 Jan 2017, 15.46:

      >"BadBios, BadUSB, Stuxnet, Flame, Duqu, Shamoon, are all different names given to the observations by experts of the same suite of malware that has evolved over the years."

      That is the hypothesis my research into this subject also supports, although it is purely an intuitive hypothesis, not an empirical one, that is, at this point in time, I do not have concrete proof to back this intuition...

      But tr1ck5t3r's comment is a very interesting comment, nonetheless...

      • throwawayway9 33 days ago

        Thanks for pointing that out, now I want to read the rest of the comments to look for other gems but it's just too long.

      • hazeii 33 days ago

        Here's an alternative take on HDD hacking:-


        Laser projector made by hacksawing 2 hard disks in half, sticking chopped up bits of platter (as mirrors) to the head assembly and bolting in a laser pointer. Works well enough to draw a digital clock display on the wall.

        • xtiansimon 33 days ago

          > "Works well enough to draw a digital clock display on the wall."

          That, I'd like to see (video).

          • hazeii 33 days ago

            Been meaning to write the project up for almost 15 years now, cameras have moved on so will send a notification once I grab a video (don't hold your breath :)).

        • dang 34 days ago
          • kobbyhack 33 days ago

            hello dang i want to have a private chat with you

            • dang 33 days ago

              Anyone can contact me at hn@ycombinator.com.

          • annoyingguy 33 days ago

            I saw your talk at OHM, we were the guys that showed up with a crate of beer there. It was one of the best talks on the whole party, and i mentioned it to a ton of people in retrospect of the party. Keep up your amazing work, this deserves to be upvoted. Are you Dutch? Let me know if you are ever around amsterdam.

            • shifto 33 days ago

              SpriteTM is a Dutch guy indeed. He currently lives in China working for Espressif though. He's been a member of a Dutch online tech community for years and years (and to be honest we mis him there!).

            • KuroSaru 33 days ago

              I pretty sure the author passed away from what I remember. I can confirm that the pinout, memory structure he shows remains true for current WD HDD drives still.

              • jacquesm 33 days ago

                I don't think that is true:


                • l8rlump 33 days ago

                  It sounds like you know the workings of these drives. Any advice on getting "ATA CMD Tracing" working on them? I saw that string in the firmware but I'm not smart enough to enable it myself :)

                • bheemeshgk 28 days ago

                  I want hack my phone. Because it is broken

                  • bheemeshgk 28 days ago

                    I want hack my phone

                    • raghvavsgk 28 days ago

                      I want hack my phone