Q:Can you solder in your dorm room?
A:Oh, no. I got written up for that.
Q: Are you sleeping more?
A: No. I go to sleep at 6 in the morning and get up for class at 10. I'm getting a lot of computer work done. I learned C-sharp and Vision C plus plus.
Q: What else are you working on?
A: I did a little project up at RIT. I reverse engineered the card readers, and I can build a card reader-writer for $20.
Q: For what kind of cards?
A: Any card with a magnetic stripe on the back. At RIT, your ID has a magnetic stripe on it. But any credit card, ATM card, hotel room card -- they all have that same magnetic stripe.I've understood the protocols they use and I've written some software. Using any normal computer with a sound card and a little bit of hardware which you can build for $20 you can read and write the cards.
Q: So what can you do with the cards you modify?
A: I've messed around a little with my RIT card.I can open any door at the school.
Q: Are you still using the iPhone you hacked?
A: Yes. But I hate working on the iPhone now.
Q: Any other extra-curricular projects?
A: Yes: a universal radio transceiver.
Q: So what is that going to do?
A: Well, think of an iPhone, which is a PDA with some cell phone functionality and WiFi and Bluetooth . Inside the iPhone you have individual chips for each one of those things. You have a chip for the cell phone, you have a chip for the WiFi, you have a chip for the Bluetooth.Imagine one device that's universal that can work anywhere in the radio spectrum with any modulation -- it can act like a cell phone, a GPS or your garage door opener.You could just download some code into my device and it can act like those things as well.Think of it as a universal remote for your world.
Q: Where are you with this project?
A: I wrote up a two-page abstract for it and I've been e-mailing a few companies to see if I can get development boards for a few chips.
Q: Anything else catch your eye lately?
A: Well, I've been learning about cryptology.